ORIGIN: ECUADOR

Cacao Percentage: 75%

Harvest Year: 2016

Farm/Coop: Camino Verde, Ecuador

Cacao Variety: Arriba Nacional

Tasting Notes: Earthy, fudge, honey, floral

Made with Ecuadorian cacao, Camino Verde sources old-world Arriba Nacional cacao with innovative post-harvest techniques. The result is a flavorful, floral bouquet of orange blossom honey that is supported by a rich, chocolate foundation.

Where to begin... This bar has always been a favorite of ours with a flavor unlike anything we’ve ever tasted. Historically, Ecuadorian cacao has been known for three things: 1. Home of the Nacional Cacao varietal which is famous for its floral aroma and flavor; 2. High relative production and varied growing regions; 3. Huge loss of production to the destructive witches broom disease. This particular chocolate helps to carry the torch of Ecuador’s reputation for having the most fragrant and aromatic chocolate in the world.

The cacao used to make this chocolate comes from Camino Verde in Ecuador. Camino Verde’s owner, Vicente Norero, has years of experience in microbiology, which brings a unique approach to cocoa farming. With Vicente’s deep understanding of fermentation methods he produces a variety of flavor profiles, using enzymes and inoculants to push specific flavor precursors forward in the beans.

Vicente Norero sources 100% Arriba cacao along with a high percentage of the Nacional complex. He is selling several different flavor types that are the result of specific harvesting and fermentation techniques. What this means is that it is very unlikely that any two chocolate bars made with cacao from Camino Verde by different makers will taste exactly alike. The specific cacao we purchase may be fruity, floral, woody, etc and we can create our own blend for our own unique flavor. This is made possible by advances by Camino Verde in the microbiology of fermenting specific genetic types grown by different farms in the area.

We were first introduced to this farm and the cacao it produces in July 2012 by Steve DeVries after he spent two months visiting almost every significant farm in Ecuador. Of the dozens of farms he visited, Camino Verde was one of his favorites, and the cacao quality proves it! We’ve tasted countless chocolates made with supposedly floral, Ecuadorian cacao, but we’ve never tasted the floral component that Ecuador is known for until now. Camino Verde is an award winner within Ecuador and on the international market. In October, 2012, at the Salon Du Chocolat in Paris, France, Camino Verde was awarded “Best Floral Cocoa” in the world.

A few details about the chocolate, specifically. It is very dark in color, especially when compared to our other offerings. This is a direct result of the Nacional cacao genetics and not due to a high temperature roast. The chocolate tastes sweeter than most at 75%; that’s because the cocoa beans actually have slightly more sugar content due to the nature of Camino Verde’s unique fermentation. The mouthfeel of this chocolate is also unique in that it is very smooth, yet it has a high viscosity (feels thick). The reason for the higher viscosity is that the cacao used to make this chocolate has a significantly lower cocoa butter level.

RITUAL CHOCOLATE — PARK CITY, UT