Single origin chocolate created with Nacional Acriollado cacao from Galera San Francisco in the Esmeraldas region of Ecuador. This area is rich in “Complejo Nacional”: ancient Acriollado trees the cacao of which is reminiscent of the typical delicate flavor of albino cacao. A particularly sweet and harmonious chocolate with notes of honey and molasses, ripe tropical fruit and flowers, with a finale with hints of cream and delicate citrus which enfolds the palate.
Photo Paolo Giocoso ©
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Although Ecuador is smaller than many other countries of South America it boasts a surprising biodiversity of flora and fauna. This diversity is reflected in the singular varieties of native cacao found in the country.
Recent archaeological studies have shown that Ecuador is most probably the place in which man domesticated the cacao plant, Theobroma Cacao. This took place around 5.000 years ago, almost 3.000 years before cacao-based beverages were used in the rituals of the Mesoamerican peoples. The much-prized cacao of Ecuador is the Nacional and it is considered, due to its organoleptic properties, to be one of the world’s best raw materials.
For our bar we have selected Cacao Nacional di Galera San Francisco, found in the area of Esmeraldas, the coastal region on the Pacific Ocean in the north of the country. It is in this zone that the ancient native cacao trees grow. They maintain the properties of the Cacao Nacional, or rather of the “Complejo Nacional” –, but with particular characteristics which recall the typical flavour of albino cacao such as “porcelana” or “criollo” and are therefore defined Nacional Acriollado.
This rare cacao – only small quantities of which are produced – is processed according to our Raw method, the raw materials being subject to as little aggression as possible. It results in a chocolate which is particularly sweet and harmonious, with notes of honey and molasses, ripe tropical fruit and flowers, a finale of notes of cream and delicate hints of citrus which embrace the palate.
The cacao is grown and processed organically by local families and associations of farmers who are channeled through the Cacaolands project, which has organized them into a consortium. The objective is total control of the channeling system, the farmers being trained so that the processes of cacao transformation meet rigorous quality standards, in order to increase agricultural production and improve the farmers’ professional and technical skills, to develop sustainable agriculture and guarantee fair social inclusion and ethical purchasing of the raw material.
The image we have chosen for this bar represents the “face” of this Ecuadorian region. Thousands of years ago the area was inhabited by numerous cultures, one of which was La Tolita, famous for its excellent gold craftwork. Treasures of this culture, which bear witness to a glorious past, are with us still today, like the famous “El Sol de Oro”, the symbol of the Central Bank of Ecuador. In a more recent past this region was a safe haven for African slaves fleeing from Spanish settlements. They found refuge in the uncontaminated forest which reminded them of their beloved native lands. Today Esmeraldas has the highest concentration of Afro-Ecuadorian people. We thus wanted to pay homage to them with the image of two women, the symbol of two generations which meet and present to us the best that their land has to offer. Their radiant faces show, better than a thousand words, the generosity of this marvellous land.
It is with great pleasure that we offer you a taste of this rarity, our Nacional Acriollado Ecuador Fine Raw Chocolate 72 ½ Single Origin Galera San Francisco, Esmeraldas – Ecuador.
Chocolate created with organic Tanzanian Trinitario cacao from Mbingu (Kiswahili for Heaven) in the Kilombero Valley, on the edges of the beautiful Udzungwa Mountains National Park. A rural area where Kokoa Kamili works with more than 2000 families of farmers for whom the small cacao plots are the main source of income. Particularly intense chocolate with notes of citrus and tamarind, passion fruit, red fruits and molasses, cream, flowers, lemongrass, lemon balm and final nuts.
GOLD – 2018 International Chocolate Awards – European Bean-to-Bar Competition
GOLD – 2018 International Chocolate Awards – World Final
Photo Elena Ticozzi Valerio ©
Our White Raw Veg bar is the result of the union of Raw Nacional cacao butter of the “Hacienda El Pechichal”, Guayas – Ecuador, which keeps intact the “Complejo Nacional” of Ecuadorian cacao, and of “Mandorla di Toritto”, fruit of the native cultivar “Filippo Cea”, grown, gathered and transformed into an alternative to milk within an uncontaminated and protected environment: the Alta Murgia National Park. Two products which create a White Raw Vegan single origin chocolate with a pleasing initial sensation of alcohol, and floral and nut notes. It combines perfectly with the Sicilian candied orange peel and the best Toritto almonds to re-evoke the typical sweet specialities of Southern Italy.
BRONZE – 2018 International Chocolate Awards – European Bean-to-Bar Competition
Photo Giovanna Gori ©
Chocolate created with O’PAYO™ Profundo: the organic cacao of Waslala, the mountainous area in northern Nicaragua home to the Bosawas Natural Reserve, the largest in Central America and since 1997 a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Intense creaminess and natural sweetness with notes of candied citrus, almond pleasing bitterness and a lingering finale with a hint of tropical fruits and flowers.
Photo Manuela Fratoni ©