Bombons Finos da Amazônia, a Manaus-based company, makes chocolates and other products using native Amazon forest fruit. Instead of just trying to describe some of the new flavors you will get to sample as you travel in Manaus, Belém or other areas of the Amazon, you can bring home some souvenirs with a taste of the rainforest.
Fine Chocolates from the Amazon: Overview
Bombons Finos da Amazônia started out as a small home business opened by Jorge Alberto da Silva, an Amazonas native, and now produces over 35,000 units a day and exports to Europe. With a sustainable approach to production, the company generates jobs in Amazon communities and uses forest residues in its packaging.
Amazon nuts, araçá-boi, cubiu, buriti, cashew nuts, acai berry, cupuaçu and acerola (Barbados cherry), an exotic species which has adapted wonderfully to the Amazon, are some of the fruit used in chocolates, jellies and other products.
Cocona (Solanum sessiliflorum), known in Brazil as cubiu (pronounced "coo-BEW"), is a small fruit with a juicy, tart flavor that goes really well with chocolate. Bombons Finos da Amazonia has a partnership with INPA, the National Institute for Research of the Amazon, to help this fruit with several medicinal properties – it can, for example, help reduce cholesterol levels – become better known in Brazil and in other countries.
Cupuaçu has a flavor that's hard to compare with other fruit. It's tart, yet it's mild, and it has a matchless scent.
Try a glass of cupuaçu juice at one of the best juice shops in Manaus, such as Skina dos Sucos (Avenida Eduardo Ribeiro 629 - Central Manaus - phone: 55-92-3233-1970), and if you fall in love with the taste, go to Bonbons Finos for more - you can buy a box with 100 chocolates of the same kind.
If you prefer, you can also buy a box with a mix of seven flavors.
Cupuaçu Gift Box
Among the packages manufactured by Amazon forest artisans is the cupuaçu gift box. A hole was punctured in the cupuaçu shell, which was emptied and dehydrated. Then it was painted with Amazon landscape motifs and filled with 12 or 20 chocolates.
Urutu is the name of a viper and of an armored personnel carrier used by the Brazilian army. But it's also the term used to describe a type of basket used by tribes from the Negro basin in the Amazon - you can see it in the collection of the Museum of the Brazilian Object in São Paulo.
Bombons Finos da Amazônia sells a miniature urutu containing 12 chocolates. It's made of arumã straw, tinted with plant resins and decorated with indigenous symbols. The package is tied with tucum fiber and acai berry seeds.
Made from forest products such as ground termite nests, sand, clay, tree bark, and taboca fiber, the marquetry boxes depict Amazon scenes and contain 15 chocolates.
Bombons Finos da Amazônia: Store Locations and Hours
The company also has its products available in over 100 points of sale in Amazonas State. But all the four company-owned stores are in Manaus. One of them is at Central de Artesanato Branco e Silva, a permanent craft fair where you can buy other regional products. There's also a kiosk at Amazonas Shopping.
See the address, phone number and hours for the Manaus locations on the company's website: www.bombonsfinos.com.br (check the days of the week in Portuguese).