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The World's Best Chocolate Comes From Where???

The World's Best Chocolate Comes From Where???

"Chocolate doesn't ask silly questions, chocolate understands."  ~ Anonymous

When you think of amazing chocolate, you may automatically think of Switzerland or Belgium. You'd be surprised to know that some of the best chocolate in the world comes from Ecuador. In Ecuador, a small country bordered by Colombia and Peru, farmers are proud to say they produce “black gold.” When they say that they aren’t talking about Ecuador’s main export, which is oil, but rather, they are speaking of the main ingredient in chocolate, the cocoa bean.

Cocoa is deeply ingrained in Ecuador’s history. According to archaeologists studying in the southern Amazonian region of Ecuador, cocoa beans were being harvested and consumed there more than 5,000 years ago.

Ecuador was the biggest exporter of cocoa up until the early 1900s. Cocoa farming dropped due to plant disease and a desire to replace cocoa crops with more lucrative crops, such as bananas and coffee. West Africa took up the mantle as the largest exporter of cocoa after that, with a focus not on quality, but on quantity. The bulk beans they produced are used in everyday chocolates around the world. As a result, they have a higher demand than the high quality beans from Ecuador.

Fine chocolate reflects the tastes of the area it is from, and over the last decade, the demand for more flavorful cocoa has been on the rise. Ecuador has capitalized on this chance to make an impact on the chocolate market once again by exporting the finest quality beans, as well as reclaiming the lost art of making chocolate.

Armed with this commitment to making the best chocolate with the best bean found in their backyard, Ecuadorian farmers have succeeded spectacularly. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. Chocolate produced in Ecuador in the last decade has been honored with many prestigious international awards and worldwide recognition.

What makes chocolate from Ecuador so special? Only about 5% of all the cocoa beans grown in the world are gourmet beans, about 60% of those gourmet beans come from Ecuador. Attempts to grow these beans in other places around the world, even in places where they thrive, have failed to produce the same variety of floral notes achieved in Ecuadorian soil.

Ecuador’s neighbor, Peru, also has a distinguished pedigree of chocolate production. They are in the heart of the source of the cocoa trees from which the cocoa beans come. Ecuador may export the most cocoa and cocoa beans, but the majority of the trees they get are actually in Peru.

So when it comes to chocolate, don’t underestimate the chocolates from South America. Many of the companies around the world making fine gourmet chocolate get their cocoa from the same place, and that’s in South America. Sample some of the best examples of these amazing chocolates at