Episode 3: The Awakening
In the 1990s, connoisseurs around the world discover the incredible flavors chocolate from different origins can have—and pay big bucks for it. No event marks that awakening better than the Holy War between Valrhona, the French chocolate kingpins, and Amedei, the Italian upstart. Valrhona has exclusive control over the prized cacao from Venezuela’s Chuao valley…and Amedei steals it away. Rumors escalate when a distributor gets shot. After that, craft chocolate makers compete furiously to lock up the best beans in the world…and it turns out the wild Bolivian beans Volker rediscovered are at the top of the list. Facing stiff competition, Volker finds himself riding dirt bikes across Bolivia in search of new supplies, handing out rolls of cash to sketchy middlemen, sending truckloads of beans over Bolivia’s notorious Road of Death to reach port, and eventually plunging into the Amazon’s Indigenous Territories (with Rowan in tow) to cut a deal with the Yurucare. It works!...For now.