It has been a while that I and P have moved to organic dark chocolates from regular dairy ones. We both love chocolates and. since we could not let go of this habit of eating chocolates, we had to do that. But then once we found out the joy of baking with dark chocolates, we were hooked. So when Suprio sent a mail about a “Chocolate tasting” session organized by the commercial division of Embassy of Ecuador and it mentioned Pacari – Premium Organic Chocolate, I lapped it up.
To be honest, before that mail I had not heard about Pacari. We met Mr. Santiago Peralta who started Pacari in 2002 along with his wife Carla as a family business. Now this brand and their chocolates are considered to be some of the best chocolates in the world. Santiago took us through the journey of Pacari chocolates. From selecting Cacao fruits at the source and to the packaging; as the slides went by, a fascinating story unfolded. On his responsibility to the nature and a sustainable business module, he and his wife created a company that remains true to it’s commitment of “Tree to Bar” manufacturing. He made sure that the farmers were not cheated, got their due and thus made sure for his company to get the best of the produce. Even the logo of Pacari is a man and a tree referring to the intimate bonding that these two share. The Cacao fruits are minimally processed to retain the antioxidant and the complex flavour. Organic chocolate was thought to be tasteless. Gourmet chocolate was considered fine. Santiago and his team at Pacari aimed to destroy that notion and have managed that too This is the only Biodynamic chocolate in the world. Their farmers follow a holistic homeopathic agricultural process. The result is this amazing 100% organic gluten free, dairy free, chemical free chocolates.
Pacari chocolates are the first world winner in the Chocolate awards in 2012. Since then Pacari have won many accolades.
That evening we tasted quite a few varieties of Pacari brand. In India,Pacari chocolates are imported and marketed by Mandara Orchard Foods Pvt Ltd. We started with Rose Andean. Ecuador produces the best and tallest roses in the world. Some are 7 eet tall. Santiago said it’s a tribute to his Granny. It sure has a very distinct rose flavor.Then we had Tutu Iku which is 70% Cacao. Very soft. Melts in the mouth. My thought on this – the term Smooth like Chocolate must have come from this one. Citrusy fruity green apple and it ends with a taste of dried plums. The Chilli flavored one was smooth but for someone like me with the palate of “bhoot jolokia” termed as world’s hottest chilli, the hotness of the chocolate was not shocking. But as Santiago mentioned,many people around the world do find this hot! Their Passion fruit chocolate is now served on board Emirates First Class.
I had never had 100% dark chocolate before. Maximum was 80%. So I was not very sure if I would be able to handle their 100% Cacao one. It did give a slight shock with it’s bitterness but I surprisingly liked the aftertaste. We also had 101 which is 100% Cacao and 1% Nibs. This one has more texture and tastes less bitter. But somehow I liked the 100% one better. That one is on my wishlist now for my experiments with baking.
Santiago’s passion has made his brand Pacari as transparent and close to nature as possible. We at IFF welcome Pacari chocolates to India and to our homes and wish them all the luck.