Cacao has a long history in Ecuador. It has been growing there for over 5000 years.
Recently, ceramic pottery was found in Ecuador’s southern region dating to 3,300 BC that contained microscopic remnants of cocoa.
Europeans didn’t start consuming cacao until the 16th Century, when Aztec ruler Montezuma introduced Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes to a spicy chocolate drink, known as "xocolatl".
Ecuador was the largest exporter of cacao until the 20th century. In the early 1900s, many cacao trees were replaced by bananas and coffee. Now, Ghana is the largest producer of cacao which is often grown to be processed into chocolate flavors and candies.
The variety of cacao that we purchase from farmers in Ecuador are grown for their high quality flesh. The cacao varieties that we occasionally purchase from farmers in Grenada are grown for it’s high quality bean.
High quality cacao varieties used primarily for gourmet chocolate account for only 5% of the world’s cacao production, but demand is starting to increase.
As demand for higher quality beans and fruit increases, cacao production has also become a sustainable source of income for Ecuador’s farmers.
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