El Castillero, Nicaragua
The story of El Castillero begins in Nicaragua. Specifically at Indio Maiz, a biological reserve considered the natural pearl of Central America. “Normally, we don’t have the right to intervene there,” explains Stéphane Bonnat, who was the first authorized to take Indio Maiz’s cocoa out of its homeland.
“At the start, we started to carry out projects like this (about fifteen in total) because our usual planters stopped one after the other. You should know that, over there, the cultivation of cocoa is seen, at best as an ancillary activity, at worst as something for the ‘earthy asses’. A plantation is barely a hectare and a half in area. Our desire was therefore to make these crops profitable, and today our producers earn seven times more than the average income of the country” he said.
The result is an award winning bar with flavour notes of honey, yellow fruit, molasses, licorice and dates.