After spending years sourcing cacao for the biggest chocolate brands around the world, Rob Weidner discovered a little secret of the cacao industry.
Cacao farmers were eating the white fleshy center of the cacao pod, the part that no chocolate company was interested in. Yet, it was packed with nutrients. Even better, it was the part of the cacao pod that would normally go to waste. Traditionally, the beans were collected and the rest of the cacao fruit was chucked.
The farmers chewed on the fleshy interior while working the fields, sucking on the juice being extracted. Spending his days with Ecuadorian farmers in the field, Weidner took up their snacking habit, trying out the white flesh himself. It was refreshing, sweet, zingy, and filled with antioxidants, flavanols, and polyphenols — all nutritious ingredients that are normally sought after by health-conscious consumers in the States.