August 15, 2018
Chukulati Chocolate Co.
3821 Falmouth Rd Unit 3A
Marstons Mills, MA 02648
There is an old legend that has been handed down through Ecuadorian history. In the nineteenth century, a Swiss chocolatier was navigating the Guayas River in coastal Ecuador. During his voyage, he encountered a group of farmers transporting sacks of Nacional cacao that had an unusually rich and floral aroma. The chocolatier asked the farmers where this cacao had come from. The farmers simply replied “arriba” (meaning “upriver”) and pointed in that direction. Cacao grown along the upper regions of the Guayas river basin became one of the most highly sought sources of cacao in European chocolate and was given the name “Arriba.”
By the time the nineteenth century rolled around, Nacional was considered by many European chocolatiers the most coveted source of cacao in the world—prized for its floral aroma and complex flavor profile. This golden era of Ecuadorian cacao came to an end in 1916, when an outbreak of “Witches’ Broom” disease decimated the Nacional variety. This led growers and those sourcing cacao alike to cultivate and buy of a different genetic variety of cacao, much more resistant to disease and bearing more fruit. Although this may have been a solution to the sudden decrease in cacao at the time, this genetically modified cacao bared almost no flavor or aroma.
Until recently, through genetic testing, systems were put in place to preserve this almost extinct national treasure back into production with the help of small farmers and co-ops.
Chukulati was created with exactly that in mind. My mother (Liana Strider) and I (Fernando Lopez), both being natives to Ecuador, knew this was something needed to be shared with the world! Our travels back home in 2015 led us on the cacao adventure of our lives, where we were able to learn a great deal about fine cacao, the process, and people involved in making the amazing chocolate we all love to indulge in today. By working with Co-operatives, and sourcing fairly-traded cacao this also brings a great opportunity to help small communities and promoting organic and environmentally sustainable practices.
We do not claim to be the best chocolatiers (although constantly striving and learning to be better) but we believe the best chocolate comes from good sourcing. Our chocolate is all organic, single origin and single province, and made with four or less ingredients. This truly allows our consumers to taste the palatable differences in this fine Nacional cacao, from fruity and floral, to red fruits and wine notes, to creamy and vanilla undertones, or a very cocoa-forward flavor. You could compare this flavor phenomenon to that of wine and the effects of its terroir in which its grown. Our Artisanal bars and creations range from a dark milk chocolate of 43% cacao content, all the way up to 100% and several in between for all cacao preferences. We aim to promote more health-conscious recipes in our products to highlight the true goodness of cacao, there’s actually a reason it makes you feel so good when you eat it! While also, looking to offer some sweeter confections. We have so much in mind for what’s to come and very much looking forward to it. For now, you can find us at our little shop in the Windmill Plaza off of Route 28 in Marstons Mills. We will be opening our doors to the public by the end of this month, and very much look forward to seeing you there!