This is chocolate’s startling source fruit. Most beans are grown in the tropical lands of Ecuador where geographic, climatic, and environmental factors enable the exceptional flavor and aroma qualities of Ecuadorian fine aroma cacao, which is closely linked to Ecuador’s culture, history and economy. It is undoubtedly the country’s figurehead product due to its trajectory in exports since it is the source of income for 500 000 people who grow it; and is a source of pleasure and nutrition for the consumers who enjoy it as a steaming beverage, a bar, or a bonbon.
Ecuadorian cacao is a valuable product valued in the exclusive circles of the best chocolatiers and this is the reason for its designation fine flavor Nacional Cacao. This variety’s seeds in the hands of master chocolatiers are turned into actual works of culinary art.
Traces of cacao´s initial consumption are found within Ecuadorian territory, as the inhabitants of the Mayo-Chinchipe community left traces of roasted beans and cocoa drinks within their tombs. Later on the Mayan Civilization in Central America became the first nation of xocoatl lovers, this was strong beverage prepared with multiple local species, such as cinnamon, chili, and annatto. The Mexican Aztecs inherited the taste for chocolate and prepared a series of drinks, sauces and dishes with the cacao beans. Europeans discovered chocolate through the Spanish conquistadores who arrived to Mexico; and Hernan Cortes who, in 1519, was invited by Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II to taste this precious drink. Since then, and with the help of new technologies, chocolate consumption has changed in texture, flavor, and presentations. Both industrial and craft chocolate manufacturing demand a complex transformation process, from the plantation to the factory.
Nowadays chocolate is trendy and accessible to all. Chocolate shops resemble jewelry shops offering a large variety of chocolate products in all shapes. Although the market has a wide range of chocolate, only few people know how to choose quality chocolate. While around thirty years ago France pioneered the trend of dark bitter chocolate, milk chocolate continues to be the most consumed worldwide. Regardless of whether you are a milk chocolate or dark chocolate fan, as with white and red wine fans, the important thing is the product’s quality. As for white chocolate, although the word « chocolate » is included in the name, it only contains cocoa butter not cacao and, thus, it lacks gustatory interest.
One of the most important parameters while choosing quality chocolate are the ingredients; therefore, while purchasing it, we recommend ensuring it has natural ingredients and fat only derived from cocoa butter as other vegetable fats may be harmful to human health.
Bitter chocolate provides multiple benefits to your health:
• A stimulating food based on easily absorbable carbohydrates.
• Mineral salt-rich food, excellent source of potassium, magnesium, iron, sodium, copper, fluoride & calcium.
• It contains three types of anti-cavity substances: tannins, fluoride, and phosphates.
• Excellent for the heart! Now we know that regular consumption of flavonoid-rich food, such as chocolate, fruits, vegetables, green tea, red wine, contributes to reduce cardio-vascular risks. Cacao seeds have many of these flavonoids.
• Chocolate improves brain functions and its capacity of generating serotonin, a neurotransmitter that boosts positive mood.
“The basis for great chocolate is good quality cacao. The blend of seeds of different origins brings about an insipid cacao mass that needs flavorings and additives to reach an acceptable taste. When you look for chocolate, check the origins of its main ingredient: cacao.”
Academy of Chocolate Ecuador
“Chocolate is as healthful a food as it is pleasant; that it is nourishing and easily digested; that it does not cause the same harmful effects to feminine beauty which are blamed on coffee...”
Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826) author of ‘The physiology of taste’ (1825) who said the famous phrase: “Tell my what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.”
“Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands -- and then eat just one of the pieces.”
Judith Viorst (US writer)
“Once in a while I say, 'Go for it' and I eat chocolate.”
Claudia Schiffer (German fashion model)
“Eat your chocolates, little girl! Eat your chocolates! Look, there's no metaphysics on earth but chocolates.”
Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese poet.
“100 years ago Ecuador was the largest cacao producer worldwide, nowadays it holds the fourth place in regard to general cacao production, but continues to be the leader for fine cacao with over 50% of the world´s turnover for special cacao beans..”
Academy of Chocolate Ecuador.