Possibly the Finest Chocolate in the World
Chocolate - Gift Boxes
In the lush province of Esmeraldas, on Ecuador’s northern border with Colombia, farmers are proud to say they produce “black gold”.
They are not talking about oil, Ecuador’s main export, but cocoa beans.
The smooth, bitter-tasting paste extracted from the beans is the key ingredient in chocolate and one of this Andean country’s claims to fame.
It is also deeply connected to the history of Ecuador, the world’s largest exporter of cocoa until the beginning of the 20th Century.
“Fine” or “Fino De Aroma” beans, the top-quality varieties used in gourmet products because of their superior taste, account for only 5% of the world’s cocoa production, but demand is increasing.
Over the last decade, as the demand for more flavourful cocoa has risen, Ecuador has emerged as the pre-eminent exporter of fine beans.
It is a favourite destination for globetrotting chocolatiers in search of the best, and
cocoa production has also become a sustainable source of income for Ecuador’s farmers