Hainan Cocoa “Reyin #4” Garners Int'l. Recognition

By Feng Tiantian / HICN / Updated: 14:34,08-August-2021

Cocoa (along with coffee and tea) is one of the world’s three major beverage crops. In China, the island province of Hainan is the largest domestic producer of cocoa beans. Now, Hainanese cocoa is going international! In October of 2020 a 500-kilogram batch of Hainanese cocoa beans worth €3044 was exported to Belgium. A first for Hainan, they've just had their worldwide debut on the consumer market with the renowned Belgian chocolate brand Pierre Marcolini.

According to the brand's founder and executive chef Pierre Marcolini, the island province's tropical monsoon climate is very conducive to the growth of cocoa and the resulting beans have hints of fennel and the silky mouthfeel of an extremely high-quality chocolate.

Hainan cocoa beans after preliminary processing (Photo: Hainan Daily)

The “Reyin #4” beans which were chosen by the Belgian chocolate master for export to Europe were selected and bred by the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences. Stably bred in Hainan from pre-existing Hainanese varietals in 2015, it is China's first cocoa varietal to have registered intellectual property rights.

Fresh “Reyin #4” cocoa fruit (Photo: Hainan Daily)

Cocoa beans are made into a variety of drinks in Xinglong Tropical Botanical Garden in Wanning (Photo: Hainan Daily)

Visitors experiencing the fun of making chocolate by hand in Xinglong Tropical Botanical Garden (Photo: Hainan Daily)

Handmade chocolate made from Hainan cocoa beans (Photo: Hainan Daily)

Previously, professional evaluators in blind taste tests were able to recognize the taste of Hainan cocoa beans. "This indicated the good quality and special flavor of Hainan cocoa,” said Qin Xiaowei, an expert working at the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences. This collaboration with a Belgian chocolate brand shows that the unique flavor of Hainanese cocoa is ready for the world stage.

The cocoa bean research team will rely on the preferential policies of the Hainan FTP and will make full use of domestic and international resources and markets to build Hainan into a world-class cocoa innovation center.

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