I was going to remain in Africa for my Chocolate Tour, go to Ghana this week, but I changed my mind. The Ghanian 35% I found was too floral, too perfumed, for my liking, and I want to find a darker chocolate before I pass judgement.
So, instead, I’ve gone to Ecuador via Marks & Spencers, who offered a 72% bar. They also had an absolutely delicious 52% Peruvian with Clementine. (NB: I haven’t received anything from M&S. Or from anyone with regards this Chocolate Tour.)
So, Ecuador. It lies to the west of Peru; indeed, it used to be a part of the Incan Empire before Spain and the Europeans arrived with their nasty foreign white-man diseases. The name, the Republic of Ecuador, is the Republic of the Equator, and the official language is Spanish.
Given how much I enjoyed the Peruvian bars, I’m hoping the relative closeness of the two countries will offer similar chocolates. It comes in a handy, indulgence-friendly 35g bar. Almost as helpful as the Moser Roth packs of 25g bars.
Like Tesco, M&S hasn’t bothered with fancy packaging or a wine-like description. Just a simple, brown wrapping. Unlike the Tesco Côte d’Ivoire, this M&S Ecuadorian bar is a decent bar of chocolate.
This is a smooth, rich chocolate with undertones of coffee. I dislike drinking chocolate, but I’ve always liked the combination of coffee and chocolate. A family ritual when I was growing up was a monthly treat of cappuccino chocolate from the FairTrade stall at church.
I’ve always liked the Hotel Chocolat cacao-nibs (so good for energy levels), but I’ve had a harder time finding them recently. With its coffee flavours, I’d say this Ecuadorian chocolate makes quite a good substitute. I can just feel the caffeine flooding my veins…