This image brings good memories. In 2014 we crossed many parts of Mondulkiri, looking for the perfect location to start our cacao farm. When taking off in the dry season, be prepared to get dusty. And dusty we got! Hours of driving, abusing our motorbikes through half dry rivers, and sandy or rocky roads ended us up as very dirty guys. Showering in the evening took us much longer than usual, making sure that all the dirt was removed from our ears, nose and face. Despite the difficult driving, we had a lot of fun and we got in contact with a lot of amusing and friendly Cambodians. If there is one thing that characterizes Cambodians it is the smile. And smiling faces make your journey more than bearable. So much, that I wouldn’t mind hitting the road again 😉
Because it will take a little bit longer before we can harvest our own Cambodian cacao, we collect from a few small scale farmers in the Đắk Lắk province in Vietnam already fermented and dried cacao beans. We roast the cacao beans ourselves. The result, cacao nibs we now will sell under our Kamkav Farm label. Vietnamese farmers however still use pesticides so the beans are for sure not organic, however, we push them to use at least more organic fertilizers and pesticides instead of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
From early 2017 on we will harvest our own cacao beans from our own farm. Here we use only organic pesticides and fertilizers, specially produced for us in Thailand.
We also have a program to stimulate other farmers near us to start with cacao. So from 2018 on we hope not only to produce much more cacao nibs ourselves but also the very first Cambodian chocolate, a world premiere 😉
The Cambodian palm blossom sugar that we produce under the label Kamkav Farm is completely organic, unrefined and not blended. It is as pure nature as you can get. The majority of the Cambodian palm trees can only be found in Cambodia itself. There are however also some growing in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and in small parts of Thailand.
The taste is similar to the coconut palm sugar but might have an even stronger ‘butterscotch’ taste. Some palm sugars are blended with cheaper refined sugarcane; our blossom sugar, however, is not blended at all and collected straight away from the local communities. Each of the families we do business with, owns or rents around 30-40 trees and collect the nectar two times a day. The trees are never exposed to fertilisers and pesticides.
After harvesting the nectar will be cooked, stirred and dried. For the rest it remains unrefined and therefore still contains all minerals and macro nutrients like Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium. This Blossom sugar has a very low Glycemic Index (GI) of 35 compared to normal table sugar (GI: 65), so it will raise blood sugar levels much slower and lower.