The cocoa, Ecuadorian heritage

The cocoa, Ecuadorian heritage ; or how to mix cultural trip and pleasure of the senses !


Let us begin with riddles: Do you know that …

· We found vestiges of cocoa in Amazonia 21.000 years ago, before the last glaciation?
· The oldest traces of taming and consumption of the cocoa date back over 5330 years ago and what they come from the Ecuadorian Amazonia?
· Ecuador is  the country of origin of the cocoa, and that it is consumed in Mexico only 3912 years behind?
· Ecuador is the first world producer of said cocoa ” fino of aroma “?
· The scientific name of the cocoa is Theobroma cocoa, who means in Latin ” food of the gods “?
· The cocoa contains more flavors than in the wine?
· There are 135 types of cocoa in Amazonia and only 2 in Mesoamerica?

Here is of what to entice the chocolate lovers.
Especially as the Ecuador does not only produce anymore the raw material, cocoa beans, but also for a decade a country manufacturer of chocolate competing with the best chocolate bars of the world. We find Ecuadorian chocolate bars in the international competitions in which they shine due to their quality and swipe numerous world prices.

For example, it is in Ecuador where is the most expensive chocolate in the world. We may even organize a tasting just for you.

Let us return a little in the history and let´s speak about botany: recent searches distinguished 10 genetic cocoa groups: Marañón, Curaray, Criollo, Iquitos, Nanay, Contamana, Amelonado, Purús, Guyana and Nacional.

Nacional is the variety (really a cultivar, thus modified by the action of the farmers during thousands of years) which makes the reputation of the Ecuador. Its aromas and flavors, in the floral and fruit notes, were so much appreciated and it was called ” fine aroma of cocoa “.

You will also see another term sometimes added on chocolate bars: “arriba”. When an European buyer appeared at Guayaquil towards the end of the XIXth century, impressed by this cocoa, he asked for the origin. He was answered simply “arriba” (“above” in Spanish) to mean that it came from exploitations above to the river by which was forwarded the production. Today, the Cocoa Nacional Arriba is a Protected designation of origin. Very much sought-after for its aromas of jasmine and orange blossom in the world of the fine chocolate factory.

Beyond its properties which make it a super-food (powerful, reinvigorating, relaxing antioxidant, reconstituting of cells), the cocoa is declined from now on in other products. It is used for example in the cosmetic and integrated into sessions of care (exfoliating, moisturizing and reinvigorating for the skin).

We designed for you a circuit intended to make you discover all the aspects of the cocoa, since its culture in its transformation as well as its derived uses, as the massage with chocolate. You will become an expert of the cocoa in Ecuador: the Circuit of the Ecuadorian Cocoa, and all this with relaxation and pleasure.