Bean-to-bar chocolate and high quality cacao are gourmet delicacies that have emerged in the foodie world in the course of the last decade. Chocolate lovers and connoisseurs are becoming more aware of the origins of cacao and have come to appreciate the journey that it takes to get from bean to bar. Just like with a fine wine or olive oil, people increasingly select their chocolate bars based on it’s country of origin, variety of cacao used, and the flavour notes that they can expect to savour.
Ecuador is well known for it’s high quality cacao and for being home to some of the world’s best chocolate makers. Hacienda San José is a cacao plantation located in the Los Ríos province of Ecuador that was established by the 4th generation of a cacao growing family. The Marún Ramírez family is of Lebanese descent, and pride themselves on their rich cacao heritage and the sustainability of their production methods. With the emergence of the 5th generation of the family, they now produce a range of chocolate bars (in a variety of sizes, cacao percentages, and with or without inclusions) using their award winning Trinitario cacao.
I spoke to Jorge Marún Ramírez from the 4th generation of the dynasty, and learned more about Hacienda San José and their single plantation cacao and chocolate. You can hear the interview by clicking on the play button below.