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History cocoa Ecuador
In 1840 Ecuador was the world’s largest cocoa producer in the world. The era Gran Cacao was from 1870 to 1940 and it was particular in the area around the Guayas River. Real cocoa cities were Baba and Vinces. Vinces was also called Paris Chiquito, or little Paris of the world. This because the owners of the enormous cocoa plantations belonged to the elite and traveled to Europe, especially to Paris for entertainment and study. Until now you can see in Vinces many French influences in terms of fashion, style, etc. From Guayaquil was the export of cocoabeans.
Such around 1920 all crops and plantations were destroyed by various diseases such as Monilinia and Witch Broom. The production fell by 30%. Also at that moment was the 1st World War, there were a few transport of goods and the world economy was at an absolute low point. In Ecuador itself there was a crisis.
They went to look for other sources of income, such as oil, bananas, livestock and shrimps. The government began to focus on developing a cacao variety that was more resistant to these diseases: CCN-51. However, this CCN-51 does not have as much flavor as the original cacao variety of Ecuador.
That is why in the beginning of this century, many cocoa farmers with help of the Ecuadorian government, agricultural universities and associations have started again to grow the original cocoa plants, often grafted on cocoa varieties that are more resistant to various diseases.
Plantation in Ecuador in 1903
Quality cacao from Ecuador is called cacao Nacional / cacao Arriba. Nacional (translated: national) because of it’s Ecuadorian origin, all cacao which is deeply rooted in Ecuador. Cacao Nacional is considered a real genetic cacao variety. The name Arriba (translation: above) is due to its location above the Guayas river. Cacao Arriba is cacao Nacional but cacao Nacional is not always cacao Arriba! Cacao Arriba namely comes from the provinces of Manabi, Los Rios and Guayas; from the basin of the river Guayas, while cacao Nacional may also come from the Amazon, the province of Esmeraldas or the province of Pichincha.
Sometimes it is called cacao Fino de Aroma (translated: fine aroma) and this is the name for all kinds of fine flavor cacao in the world. However, cacao Nacional and cacao Arriba you almost only see in Ecuador. On this website we will use the appellation Nacional!