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Sun May 9, 2021, 03:50 AM

Ecuador's cocoa -- and the resulting chocolate -- is considered the best in the world but production c

Ecuador’s cocoa — and the resulting chocolate — is considered the best in the world but production can’t keep up with the growing demand
May 8, 2021

By Cal Montesino

In the lush province of Esmeraldas, on Ecuador’s northern border with Colombia, farmers are proud to say they produce “black gold.” They are not talking about oil, Ecuador’s main export, but cocoa beans.

The smooth, bitter-tasting paste extracted from the beans is the key ingredient in chocolate and one of this Andean country’s claims to fame.

. . .

Scholars believe cocoa plants first grew in the Amazon basin, possibly in the area that now corresponds to Venezuela, another large cocoa exporter. However, a recent archaeological study suggests that Ecuador may have been the original home of the cocoa bean.

Archaeologist Francisco Valdez found ceramic pottery dating to 3,300 BC that contained microscopic remnants of cocoa. The discovery, made in Ecuador’s southern Amazonian region of Zamora Chinchipe, suggests that cocoa beans were being harvested and consumed more than 5,000 years ago.

More:
https://cuencahighlife.com/ecuadors-cocoa-and-the-resulting-chocolate-is-considered-the-best-in-the-world-but-production-cant-keep-up-with-the-growing-demand/

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