On February 29, 2012, two cacao enthusiasts founded Cacao Bisiesto; hence the name. (Bisiesto is Spanish for ‘leap year’.) Gifford, an ex-Peace Corps expatriate, and Jose Enrique, a native Nicaraguan cacao agronomist, live with their families in the fertile Matagalpa region of Northern Nicaragua, where old Criollo and Trinitario cacao varietals have been cultivated for generations.
Giff and Jose Enrique each brought years of professional experience and a shared vision to their partnership. To preserve and propagate heirloom varietals of cacao, they pay a premium to local farmers for unique, Criollo-infused seed with fine flavor profiles, and plant rare varietals on their own farms. But excellent cacao stock only takes you so far. Both fermentation and drying critically affect the quality and flavor of the cacao, and the resulting chocolate. This is where Cacao Bisiesto really shines. The 68% dark chocolate made with this exceptional cacao has won French Broad recognition in the Good Food Awards and at the esteemed Northwest Chocolate Festival.