I have a confession to make. I love chocolate. It’s my drug of choice, my not-so-secret pleasure.
That’s why I was tickled recently to find that Ecuador, one of the countries we’re considering as a place to live, is a good source of the luscious beans. According to MarketWire,
“Where do the Swiss go to buy the best chocolate in the world? The Trade Commission of Ecuador says it’s a little known fact that Swiss chocolatiers have been traveling to South America for centuries, specifically Ecuador, to stock up on Arriba Nacional cacao.”
Eduardo Borrero, Ecuadorian trade commissioner, stated in the same article:
“Ecuadorian chocolate is organic, sustainable, fair trade, superior in quality and when Americans discover they can drastically reduce their carbon footprint by cutting out the ‘middleman’ they will take a serious look at the label for the word ‘Arriba’ before their next chocolate purchase.”
I say, “bring it on!”
The World Wide Chocolate website describes Ecuadorian Arriba chocolate as:
“a special cocoa varietal with a perfumed floral scent. Its flavor is smooth, with a dominant jasmine note and nutty after-tones.”
National Geographic Traveler describes the Kallari Association, a chocolate cooperative which grows the cacao and makes the chocolate. According to the article by Sarah Aldrich, Association members have the opportunity to earn a living without clearcutting the Amazon rainforest. So we can feel really good about eating their product!
Ecuador just moved up a few points in my “next country to live in” stakes.
Would locally grown cacao induce you to choose one country to live in over another? Weigh in by clicking the comment link below.
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Steph H. says
Well, if you do decide to move there, please let me know if you need some connections. My husband and I spent quite a bit of time there during the last two years in South America and we met some wonderful people. We could also share some thoughts on the country and the areas. We really liked it and I loved that it’s still relatively undeveloped, but you can get what you need/want by going to places like Quito. As for the chocolate, yup, it is quite amazing!
Hi Steph, honestly, I love everything I’ve seen and heard about Ecuador except for two things. I’m not sure how well I’d handle the whole altitude thing — I was in Bogota, Colombia on business a few years back, and didn’t get sick but did struggle with the altitude. And I’ve read mixed reviews of available health care.
BTW — coincidentally, I was just looking at your blog a couple of days ago, and following the pushpins on the map up the west coast of S. America. Fascinating!