Chocolate is in. Something new about it is discovered every day. Ecuador has the honor of being the producer of the finest cocoa in the world, which as we all know is the main ingredient in chocolate.
Pacari, a relatively young company, decided that if Ecuador had the best cocoa, we could make the best chocolate. A few years after developing their factory based on a different model, Pacari changed the history of chocolate in Ecuador and Latin America by becoming a worldwide success. Pacari means “nature” in Quechua, a name chosen to evoke everything its chocolate represents: the finest products from the land, 100% natural. The company guarantees the health of the land and of those that consume its products, which are soy, dairy and gluten free, and are also absent from chemical and transgenic components.
Not long ago, Pacari began, among other activities, promoting chocolate tastings by means of weekly get-togethers that almost always are held on Thursdays at one of their sites in Quito. These tastings are highly recommended, where a world of aromas, flavors and unique sensations are explored.
During these tastings, guests learn about the origin and history of cocoa and chocolate in Ecuador, which Pacari states comes from the Amazon and was later taken to Central America and Mexico, where it was domesticated and exploited during the Pre-Colombian age.
Talks held during the meetings help guests understand the reasons behind fine aroma cocoa being the best in the world, and the benefits organic chocolate has for health and well-being.
These tasting experiences are free of charge and tend to go on for an hour or a bit longer. They are held by experts and open to only 12 guests at a time, which is why we recommend signing up on Pacari’s website to reserve your spot.
Chocolate tastings are a unique experience, which involves discovering the type, variety, and amount of cocoa in a chocolate bar and how this determines the flavor detected by our palate. Perhaps, one of the most important steps in chocolate tasting is when we allow chocolate to melt in our mouths in order to appreciate all its different characteristics, which are then explained as the talk progresses.
After a chocolate tasting class, we learn to appreciate good chocolate at first sight by its texture and sheen, for example, along with the tone of its color, how dark its surface is and the meaning behind it, and by the smoothness of its surface, which must be extremely soft and polished, letting us know the degree to which the sugars have been compacted.
Aroma is key. A good chocolate bar defines itself, but in order to isolate the smell, we must cup a piece in our hands, bring it up to our noses, and appreciate the aroma with small inward breaths. Even the noise of breaking a chocolate bar speaks to its quality. It is truly an extraordinary experience that completely changes our appreciation, stemming from the smallest of details. The most important element however is the flavor, when we finally place a bit of chocolate in our mouths and allow it to melt with our own body heat. Some will even cover their noses, allowing only small breaths in, so as to detect other aromas and flavors hidden in the chocolate being tasted.
If you’d like to experience tasting the so-called food of the Gods, sign up and reserve your spot by calling: 02 2561056: ext: 20 or 21.
To learn more about the history of cacao, chocolate exhibitions and tasting you can visit these places:
Chez Tiff Artesanal: Chocolate exhibition and tasting
Chocolate exhibition and tasting with previous appointment (Telephone: 2290020)
Address: Calle La Ronda 889
República del Cacao: Chocolate Tasting
Address: Reina Victoria and Joaquín Pinto Esquina, Quito, Ecuador
Schedules: Monday through Sunday from 09h00 to 19h00
Address: Morales OE1 – 166 and Guayaquil
Schedules: Monday through Wednesday from 11h00 to 18h00
Galería Ecuador Gourmet: Cacao history and Pacari Chocolate exhibition + truffles elaboration
Address: Venezuela y Espejo
Schedules: Monday through Friday at 10am and 16h00
Text: Rómulo Moya Peralta. Photos: Pacari, Fernando Espinosa, Quito Turismo
Observe cocoa plants with their fruits at different stages of development.
Experience the flavor of cocoa before production.
The texture of cocoa in your hands.