Sitting on the equator (hence the name Ecuador) between Columbia and Peru it is, perhaps, the smallest Andean nation. Ecuador, divided into three regions – Sierra, Orient, and Coastal Region, is home to volcanic mountains, lush jungle and a beautiful Pacific coastline. The country’s greatest draw, though, are the captivating Galápagos Islands, nearly 1,0000km from the mainland, whose extraordinary wildlife inspired Charles Darwin and changed the world.
The fertile alluvial plains make for fine growing conditions of cacao, making Ecuador the world’s largest exporter of cacao beans. Legend has it that in the 19th century, a Swiss chocolatier was navigating the Guayas River in coastal Ecuador. At one point, he encountered a group of farmers transporting a particular variety of cacao with an unusually rich and floral aroma and asked them where the cacao came from. With a reluctance that even today is prevalent to this region, the farmers simply replied “rio arriba”, Spanish for upriver, and pointed in that direction. From that date forth, cacao grown along the upper tributaries of the Guayas River Basin became one of the most highly-sought varieties of cacao in European chocolate circles, and was given the name “Arriba”.
Just like wine, chocolate reflects the flavor of the region where it is grown. With the rising demand for flavorful chocolate, Ecuador has become a hot destination for chocolatiers worldwide. You have surely tasted lots of chocolate so far. We invite you to experience the deep, floral-flavored richness of Arriba available in our Single Origin Collection. You’ll find the taste of “Arriba” at http://bit.ly/1kIxdOK