Ecuador, I am going to Ecuador.
It is quite exciting. This expedition is organized by two amazing women that I met at Northwest Chocolate Festival in November 2017.
Jenny and Jody of Chocolates Conexion based in Quito and New York. They make couverture grade chocolate in Ecuador for people like me to share with people like you.
We will visit farms in four distinct growing regions, exploring techniques and terroir. It is easy for us to forget that chocolate is an agricultural product. Cacao grows in a fragile ecosystem in harsh conditions. (seriously scary snakes and seriously fragile pollinators) The quality of the chocolate we eat, starts right on the farm.
It is fascinating.
You likely have questions about cacao and cocoa production and I am on an expedition to learn and relate answers. And I get a boat ride on the Amazon river! And I get to make chocolate with amazing people including my hosts, and Chef Stephen Durfee of CIA Greystone. But wait, I am also attending a cocoa grading and tasting conference with FCCI in Quito. All this is an investment in my knowledge of chocolate and refining my abilities to lead you through amazing journeys in chocolate right here in SF.
This expedition to cacao farms will be my second. Last year I was hosted in Costa Rica by old friends, Rob and Kent. These photos are from their property, Finca Alazon, really worth a visit and it's easier to get there.