Aequare Chocolate – A Chocolate Lovers Utopia and Holiday Gift!

Recently, I was asked to provide a product review for Aequare Fine Chocolates. Naturally, I said yes. Even though Brenda and I have been chocolate judges, neither one of us considers ourselves purists. I comment, based on my own palate, in addition to anyone around me who can share in the tasting.

In short order, I was overwhelmed at how exceptional this Ecuadorian chocolate is in taste, flavor, aroma, presentation and desirability. It is a match for anything I’ve ever experienced.

The 100% Arriba Nacional cocoa beans are handcrafted and processed directly from a farm in Quevedo, Ecuador. Chef Jeffrey Stern, originally from Southern California, has devoted years of preparation, talent, and experience to the product. Trained in French culinary techniques and working several years in the restaurant and chocolate business, Jeff finally was able to move to Ecuador and open Aequare Chocolates. That was just the beginning. He had to import equipment, research and taste chocolates from producers throughout Ecuador and locate sources for the finest local ingredients. As a result, Jeff launched Aequare Chocolates as an artisan line of fine chocolates.

Why Ecuador? Previously, Jeff had worked in international development programs in Chile, Columbia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. He had developed a knowledge of Ecuadorian customs and products that allowed Aequare Chocolates to work closely with local producers, cocoa growers and processors.

Back to the flavors and tastes.

As you bite into each morsel, you taste its complimenting ingredients. They do not overwhelm, just enhance. I’m going to give you an idea of the flavors with some descriptions:

Amazon-Ishpingo and Cinnamon–Ishpingo names the distinct flavor from the flower of the cinnamon tree in a dark chocolate ganache with a hit of cinnamon.

Le Citron–Meyer Lemon infused semi-sweet chocolate ganache, covered by 70% single origin chocolate.

Blackberry Cobbler–Pure blackberry puree, almond praline, and semi-sweet chocolate, covered in 70% single origin chocolate.

Lemongrass–Lemongrass and coconut chocolate ganache, covered in dark chocolate.

Ginger–Semisweet chocolate ganache with a hint of ginger, covered in dark chocolate.

I’ve only listed five of the ten flavors. Each is exceptional and clearly represents its name.

Let’s move on to the bars:

Along with my samplers, we tasted a 70% Pure Arriba Cacao, 70% Pure Arriba Cacao with Lemongrass and a 55% Pure Arriba Cacao.
They were all exceptional, but I was personally partial to the hint of Lemongrass.

Norm, who generally prefers milk chocolate, liked all of these. But his preference was the 55% bar. He also did a good job on the small chocolates. He could not believe how much he enjoyed the darker chocolate flavor of Aequare Fine Chocolates.

This tasting was shared with Eric Brink and Patrice Charles. They enjoyed the hint of spice and felt the chocolate was outstanding.

Last, but certainly not least, is the recent launching of the Dark Chocolate Cocoa Beans.

These beans are roasted in a copper kettle and peeled by hand in order to maintain quality control. Then the individual beans are covered with the quality Aequare 70% dark chocolate. These beans provide a quick energy boost. In addition, they are high in anti-oxidants, fiber, along with other vitamins and minerals. What a way to stay healthy!

Aequare is the first chocolatier that exports to the U.S. world-class confections made almost entirely from ingredients in the country of origin. The exception is vanilla beans which are not grown commercially in Ecuador.

Having tasted what is considered some of the finest chocolates worldwide, I highly recommend these.

You can order Aequare Fine Chocolates from the following websites:

Once you’ve experienced these exceptional chocolates, please let me hear your comments.

As a side note, on Where & What in the World, you will only find reviews for products we like. If they do not measure up to our standards, we choose not to take the time to write about them.

Big Blend Magazine

“Success” was Indie Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards