Ecuador is a country located in Latin America, and has some of the most important ports in this part of the world. One of Ecuador’s main economic activities is growing cocoa from a tree in the Sterculiaceae family, native to Central America. The fruits are called pods and contain 25 to 75 cocoa beans each, depending on the variety cultivated. A tree provides more than one pod a year. Cocoa, derived from the cocoa bean, is a well-known spice, and is especially known as a main ingredient in cocoa.
The Origin of Ecuadorian Cocoa Beans
Chocolate varieties differ from each other as soon as the fruit is harvested from the cocoa tree. Indeed, each chocolate tree has a particularity that it transmits to its pod and its beans, and the type of tree found in Ecuador is of the forestero variety. This variety’s beans are violet and flat. The cocoa they produce, considered ordinary, represents about 75% of world production. There are two types of forasteros: the amelonados or low Amazonian forasteros and the upper Amazonian forasteros. But, even though this last line of cocoa is produced, the variety of cocoa found in Ecuador is different. It is called the “nacional” or cacao arriba. The latter is known for its rich and complete taste. It is also sought after for its floral and fruity aroma with subtle hints of wood, earth, and ash. This very fine cocoa is defined as high quality. This is the reason why it is reserved for the manufacture of fine vintage chocolates.
Cacao Nacional’s Place in the Market
Economically, Ecuador is a moderately developed country. Ecuador’s export economy is based on banana cultivation, where it is the world’s largest exporter. Oil, tourism, and cocoa rank it seventh in the world. Ecuador provides 2.3% of cocoa demand, which is equal to 93659 tonnes per year. Moreover, Ecuadorian cocoa is very sought after in the manufacture of chocolate. We can, for example, mention the Ferrero Rocher chocolate brand or the BARRY cocoa that has been sourcing in Ecuador for several years. The main recipients of Ecuadorian products are European Union member countries.
Cacao arriba from Ecuador are highly sought after for the unique taste they bring to the composition of chocolate. In addition, given their production per year, these cocoas are reserved for high-end chocolates.