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7 Latin American Craft Chocolate Brands You Need in Your Life

7 Latin American Craft Chocolate Brands You Need in Your Life

Picture of Jack Guy
Updated: 31 January 2018

As the craft chocolate market continues to grow around the world, take a look at some of the best brands coming out of Latin America.

El Rey, Venezuela

Ongoing economic troubles mean that getting El Rey chocolates out of Venezuela is more difficult than ever, but it’s worth the effort. These high-quality bars are made from premium-grade beans by a family-run business that is one of the oldest chocolate makers in Venezuela.

La temperatura, la lluvia, el viento y la luz solar son aspectos críticos para una cosecha de cacao abundante y de buena calidad. El cacao no logra soportar temperaturas bajas, por eso su producción se concentra en zonas tropicales. En general no debería exponerse a temperaturas menores a 21 ºC o mayores a 38 ºC. A 25-30 ºC suele tener una buena floración, abundante. El cacao puede crecer y producir en zonas de altitudes hasta los 900 metros sobre el nivel del mar para garantizar una floración óptima. Anualmente necesita 1500 – 2500 mm de lluvia en las zonas bajas más cálidas y 1200 – 1500 mm en las zonas más frescas (preferiblemente bien distribuidos a través del año). Los suelos deben tener un buen drenaje, que le permitan tener agua suficiente, sin riesgo de encharcamiento, pues “asfixiaría” las raíces. El grado adecuado de humedad relativa es de 80%, aunque se desarrolla bien con una humedad relativa mayor al 70%. La brisa le hace bien, pero no el viento fuerte permanente, por eso en algunos casos se arman barreras de cortavientos con otras especies arbóreas. En cuanto a la luz, en general las plantas de cacao no deben recibir directamente los rayos del sol, por eso se mantienen al cobijo de árboles más altos y frondosos que le proporcionan sombra. La luminosidad debe ser aproximadamente de 50 % durante sus primeros 4 años de vida, para que alcancen un buen desarrollo. #ChocolatesElRey #agricultura #plantación #productores #clima #cacao #temperatura #lluvia #viento #luz #cuidados #cosecha #abundancia #trópico

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Pacari, Ecuador

This company, founded by Santiago Peralta, produces fine organic chocolate in Ecuador. It has regularly won prizes for its quality in a country that has been known for its cacao since colonial times.

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Cacao | © Giulian Frisoni / Flickr

 

AMAZ, Peru

Regularly recognized by international competitions, AMAZ is one of the best brands in Peru. Bars are made from beans grown in the Amazon, Cuzco, Piura and Tumbes regions, each with its own distinct flavour and history.

Cacaosuyo, Peru

This brand was set up by CEO Sam Gilha, a Peruvian-American with a background in textiles. The packaging for the brand is based on traditional Peruvian textiles, and it immediately grabs the attention. Even more amazing is the taste of the product itself, with the Piura select bar winning plaudits from experts.

Cacao Pods| © Starr Environmental / Flickr

Cacao Hunters, Colombia

The team behind Cacao Hunters has taken on the task of preserving regional varietals of cacao for the craft chocolate market, rather than letting these high-quality beans be used for mass market products that sell for low prices. By producing single origin bars, the company can pay farmers a fairer price for their beans and discourage them from growing other crops.

Danta Chocolate, Guatemala

For years Guatemalan chocolate suffered from a bad reputation, with the majority of high-quality beans sold for export. Danta took it upon themselves to change that, keeping the entire process from farming to chocolate-making inside Guatemala and paying better prices to producers.

Sibú, Costa Rica

George Soriano, co-founder of Sibú, started the company with the dream of making Costa Rican chocolate great again. For years the country had exported its beans, but now Sibú is making great quality products within the national borders.