Vinces de Los Ríos Chocolate
Vinces de Los Ríos Chocolate
70% cocoa content
Nutrition pr 100g
Energy - 1869kJ / 446kcal
Fat - 29,9g
Saturated fat - 17,5g
Carbohydrates - 54,9g
Sugars - 30,0g
Fibre - 22,4g
Protein - 10,1g
Salt - 0g
This Nacional varietal lot from the Vinces de Los Ríos region of Ecuador showcases floral citrus atop a lush base of fig and butterscotch.
Producer: Vinces farmers
Varietal: 70% Nacional Cacao
Fermentation: Wooden box, 140 hours
The Nacional varietal
The Nacional varietal of cacao can trace its history back over 5000 years. Some have traced this genetic lineage back to the first cacao domesticated by the Mayo-Chinchipe culture in southern Ecuador in around 3300 BC. When European chocolatiers began to visit Ecuador in the nineteenth century, they discovered Nacional growing in the Guayas river basin, north of the port city of Guayaquil.
Ecuadorean cacao became renowned for its complexity and florality, and was known as Cacao Arriba. Arriba is understood to be a misunderstanding between European cacao buyers and a group of Ecuadorean growers, who when asked where the cacao was grown, replied with ‘río arriba’, or ‘upstream’. After this golden era, Nacional stocks across the country were hit hard by a fungal disease known as Witches Broom in the early 20th century.
During genetic testing of over 11,000 trees (...), only 6 were found to be of the ancient Nacional varietal.
The highly productive hybrids introduced later in the century were far less susceptible to such attacks, so began to slowly out-compete Nacional during the remainder of the century. By 2009, Nacional was almost extinct, but the Ecuadorean institute for agriculture and fisheries, INIAP, stepped in, not allowing this iconic Ecuadorean crop to be lost forever. During genetic testing of over 11,000 trees across the original ‘Arriba’ region, only 6 were found to be of the ancient Nacional varietal.
Vinces de Los Ríos
Since then, INIAP have distributed seeds derived from these 6 trees across the country, re-populating Ecuador with the cacao that built its reputation. One of the projects that participated in this work that led by Thomas and Yolanda Cedeño Aguilar. As well as growing neo-Nacional cacao on their own farm, they seek out producers that also use agroforestry methods to grow the original Ancient Nacional. They encourage the use of these methods and of the Ancient Nacional trees by paying premiums to these producers.
"The character of the Nacional cacao is found here in the subtle florals and the hint of lemon.."
This lot is composed of the work of 60 farmers near the city of Vinces, inside the original ‘Arriba’ region where Ancient Nacional grew natively. The pods are purchased by the Cedeño Aguilar family at a premium, before they take care of the fermentation themselves, in wooden boxes for approximately 140 hours, allowing the fermentation liquids to drain throughout. The beans are then dried carefully on raised beds to a moisture content of 7%. The character of the Nacional cacao is found here in the subtle florals and the hint of lemon in the final bar, atop a rich base of dried fig and a deep butterscotch sweetness.