Chocolates of Ecuador -- Arriba, Nacional, CCN51
Posted in: Opinion
I've often asked people about the attempts to plant Arriba outside of Ecuador. Some people say it can't be done. Not that the trees won't grow, but that they have failed in that the flavor profile is not the same. Speaking with a company rep at the 2008 Fancy Food Show in NY, Republica del Cacao has claimed that the ocean currents off the coast of Ecuador make a unique passage that in someway is not replicable anywhere else and therefore creates an environment that leads to this unique flavor of Ecuadorian Arriba. They actually had a binder at their booth with various photos, one of which was this diagram of global ocean currents. El Nino does create unique environmental changes along Peru and Ecuador. Could this go along one of the theories Samantha wrote in an earlier post in this discussion?Since this was also started as a general discussion about Ecuadorian chocolate I thought it would be interesting to list the companies that produce the chocolate in Ecuador. There are quite a few and my hopes is to hear from people who have tried these chocolates and can comment on flavor profile. It's been said that the Arriba flavor profile is almost non existent, but with so many companies in Ecuador, my hope is that some small Ecuadorian company might actually have access to some very interesting beans. For example, Bouga Cacao has a 77% bar labeled Hacienda Bosque de Oro. I had this bar and think it's the most obviously floral bar I've tried. I should add that those who tried it with me didn't really agree. However, I thought it was clearly lavendar and I'm not that good at picking up floral notes. I'd like to hear what people's impressions are or know of the following companies. Granted, some of these I only know the name. Not so sure these smaller companies even have a web site and unless you go to Ecuador you probably can't get them.VintageRepublica del CacaoCaoniChchukululuCacaoyereKallariPacariFloralChocolate del Castillo (not to be confused with El Castillo del Cacao of Nicaragua)San JoaquinVincesHoja VerdeBouga CacaoVere (not really an Ecuadorian company but the chocolate is processed at Tulicorp)At least five of these companies process at Tulicorp. It might also be interesting to know more about Tulicorp and where do the other companies process.