The Real Sweetest Place on Earth

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January 23rd 2020
Published: January 23rd 2020
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Today was one of the most whirlwind days that I think I’ve ever had, full of such different experiences. I woke up early and went to a group salsa/fitness class and ended up being called to the front to help lead. Then Matt and I went to the botanical gardens nearby and saw a really cool bonsai garden. I had some Ecuadorian ceviche and fried squid for lunch. And finally, we went to a chocolate tasting session at Pacari chocolates. It was definitely one of my best days on the trip so far.

I want to talk a little more about Pacari chocolate, somewhat because I like chocolate, but also because I really appreciate their business model and I think it fits a very Ecuadorian mindset. They are less than 20 years old, but have already won many awards for chocolate tasting and of the chocolates we tried, I can agree with whoever judges their competitions because it is truly fantastic chocolate. Unlikely many chocolate companies though, they have a great advantage because they are based in Ecuador, where most of the cacao comes from. Because of this, they have direct contact with pretty much every person that makes up their supply chain. In the video they showed during our tasting session, the owner himself goes and visits the different vendors they get their ingredients from, and on top of that they give them chocolate that is made from that specific vendor's product. It’s the opposite of a competitive American company, and I really appreciate that they have built such a good community within this brand. It makes me really happy to see a business where their own merits are what has brought their success and not any amount of corporate greed or poor worker conditions.

Another thing that I thought was just interesting was that the chocolate doesn't use milk at all, yet you don't miss it. As someone who loves dark chocolate, I thought it was especially good and I made sure to stock up on some so that I can enjoy it for a while. Truly amazing.

(For grading purposes, this is a social reflection)


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