Take a moment to reminisce the tastiest chocolate you’ve ever had. That fine little chocolate probably came from a Belgian or a Swiss chocolatier containing cacao from Ghana, milk from Isigny (France), hazelnut from Ordu (Turkey).
At the London Chocolate Awards in 2012, an Ecuadorian chocolate maker beat out France, Italy & USA to sweep the awards. This lesser-known chocolate maker known as Pacari has been winning top awards at all major competitions ever since.
So, what makes Pacari so special? Yes, the chocolates taste amazing, the awards are a testament to that. But the incredible thing about Pacari is that it does not import any ingredient from outside of South America. So far, the company has not made any chocolate with nuts or nougat or caramel. What a shocker!
Pacari has made its dark chocolates with Peruvian pink salts & lemongrass, Andean rose, Ecuadorian coffee, Amazonian guayusa (similar to matcha green tea) among many other indigenous South American ingredients. This probably makes it the only major chocolate maker in the world, with its products sold in more than 60 countries, procuring all its ingredients locally, from South America. From cacao, to cane sugar, to all its exotic ingredients, everything is sourced locally. Perhaps it was fate that Pacari is Ecuadorian in origin, as Ecuador is the birthplace of chocolate!
Pacari has made another significant contribution to the global chocolate industry. An heirloom variety of cacao, called Nacional used to dominate the Ecuador chocolate industry before 95% of the species got eliminated due to a disease in 1916. Thereafter, Ecuadorean cacao growers started cultivating low-grade cacao to sell to foreign chocolate makers to process. Pacari has been instrumental in encouraging & sustaining the resurgence of the Nacional cacao and only uses this cacao variety in all its chocolates. Its efforts have earned it the title of world’s first biodynamic certified chocolate company.
Pacari means ‘nature’ in Quechua, an indigenous language of the Andean region. Is it any wonder that it is the world’s most award-winning chocolate brand and so loved & admired everywhere?