Category Archives: South American chocolatiers/chocolate makers
No discussion of chocolate from Ecuador would be complete without visiting Quito-based Pacari Ecuadorian Organic Chocolate who won no less than nine International Chocolate Awards in the 2012 Chocolate Week competitions in London, England. Pacari won a variety of top awards such as Best Chocolate Maker and a number of awards for its dark chocolate bars which are USDA certified organic, Kosher, soy and gluten free, and Biodynamic.
What is Biodynamic chocolate, you ask? Pacari claims to have the only Biodynamic chocolate in the world and explains it as being an integrated farming system that views the farm as a living organism. All operations on the 200 cacao farms that are part of the certified Pacari group are chemical-free and designed to rejuvenate the farms through interplanting and preservation of cacao’s genetic diversity. It is the ultimate in sustainable chocolate.
Fortunately for chocolate lovers, the line of Pacari “tree-to-bar” chocolate bars are sold in 26 countries. They have a location in Sedona, Arizona that fills the orders for North America.
My favourite Pacari bar is the 70% Raw Chocolate with Salt and Cacao Nibs. ”Raw” means it is made from cacao beans that have not been roasted. The bit of saltiness with the crunch of the cacao nibs makes this a flavour-packed bar that is fun to eat and good for you and environment all at the same time.
Do you specifically look for organic chocolate when you buy chocolate? Are Kosher, soy free, or gluten free labels that you look for? Have you tried raw chocolate? Please let us know if you’ve tried Pacari dark chocolate from Ecuador and if you enjoyed it.
And please join us back here the week of December 3rd when we’ll have our next new post and the first-ever guest post on Diversions with Doreen.
It’s been fun sharing stories with you about chocolate in my neck of the woods, but I’ve got much more to share about our chocolate travels in Ecuador.
We explored Old Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in this post and got detained in a mudslide in this post. You met ex-pat (American) chocolatier Jeff Stern and Elizabeth Hendley, an ex-pat (Canadian) cacao grower and owner of the Chocolate Jungle Lodge in these posts.
I hope you enjoyed our introductory post on Ecuador. Those pictures certainly brought back some memories, none of which would have happened without the help of our gracious host, Jeff Stern, a chocolatier from Quito whom I’d met online and who helped plan our Ecuadorian itinerary of chocolate travel.
I hope the last post helped whet your appetite for the many flavours of Peru. Chocolate travel is not just about tasting chocolate, but about tasting all the complementary flavours of the local cuisine and libations.
Giovanna Maggiolo of Xocolatl
In this post, I’d like to feature two of my favourite chocolatiers from Lima. I already introduced you to Giovanna Maggiolo in the May 17th post, but today, I’d like to take you to her chocolate shop in Miraflores and tempt you with the amazing flavour selections you’ll find at Xocolatl.
The first thing that will greet you when you walk into Giovanna’s shop is the burst of colour! I happened to be there right before Easter, so colourful Easter eggs and treats tempted me at every turn.
During the past 2.5 years of my research for Chocolatour, I’ve had the opportunity to visit many chocolate factories. Huge, high tech ones in Switzerland. Tiny, hands-on ones in Peru. And everything in between.
But I must say the one that has had a true impact on me in every aspect of chocolate travel is the Orquidea Chocolate factory in Tarapoto, Peru. (You’ll find more about the small city of Tarapoto in the previous post on this blog as well as from this terrific site.)