Pacari is king of Ecuadorian chocolate

No discussion of chocolate from Ecuador would be complete without visiting Quito-based Pacari Ecuadorian Organic Chocolate that has won more than 100 international awards and no less than nine International Chocolate Awards in the 2012 Chocolate Week competitions in London, England. Pacari continues to win awards and impress the world with innovative chocolate flavours using Arriba Nacional cocoa beans. Pacari has won a variety of top awards such as Best Chocolate Maker and a number of awards for its dark chocolate bars which are USDA certified organic, Kosher, soy and gluten free, and Biodynamic.


Pacari Ecuadorian Organic Chocolates are delicious and pure in addition to being sustainable.

What is Biodynamic chocolate, you ask? Pacari claims to have the only Biodynamic chocolate in the world and explains it as being an integrated farming system that views the farm as a living organism. All operations on the 200 cacao farms that are part of the certified Pacari group are chemical-free and designed to rejuvenate the farms through interplanting and preservation of cacao’s genetic diversity. It is the ultimate in sustainable chocolate.


I did not make it to the Pacari factory when I was in Quito in 2012, only learning of them after I returned to Canada. But I did meet founder Santiago Peralta (pictured above) at the 2013 Salon del Cacao y Chocolate in Lima, Peru.

And I am told Pacari hosts a terrific chocolate tour that they offer in Quito, where you can taste a variety of their bars and learn how they are made. Details here.

pacari chocolate is good for the environment and readily available

Fortunately for chocolate lovers, the line of Pacari “tree-to-bar” chocolate bars are sold in 26 countries. They have a location in Sedona, Arizona that fills the orders for North America.

Of the varieties I have tasted, my favourite Pacari bar is the 70% Raw Chocolate with Salt and Cacao Nibs. “Raw” means it is made from cacao beans that have not been roasted. The bit of saltiness with the crunch of the cacao nibs makes this a flavour-packed bar that is fun to eat and good for you and environment all at the same time.

Do you specifically look for organic chocolate when you buy chocolate? Do you care if your chocolate is sustainable and eco-friendly? Are Kosher, soy free, or gluten free labels that you look for? Have you tried raw chocolate? Please let us know if you’ve tried Pacari dark chocolate from Ecuador and if you enjoyed it.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

51 Responses

  1. We’ve tried all of the Pacari flavours available in Canada and have loved them all! The floral and fruity flavours are fun (i.e. andean rose, passionfruit), but I particularly enjoyed their Raw 70%. When I was in Barcelona recently I found their Raw 80%, as well (which isn’t available in Canada as far as I know).

    What we love about Pacari the most is their dedication to the Earth- cacao is a gift we harvest from the land and it resonates with us that we should make sure our harvest is sustainable and healthy for our planet. That’s why we use their raw cacao paste as the key ingredient to our bars here in Saskatoon 🙂

  2. Hi Doreen i have just stumbled upon this post i see 2013 was the year it was last active, i currently work for a new Canadian company that produces chocolate here in Ecuador where are you based Canada Usa? would be interested in trying a few samples

  3. Claudia says:

    I live in Mindo, Ecuador. And if you’ve never heard of it, you must check out

    It is made here locally, and now also in Dexter, Michigan. It’s fabulous!

  4. Fatima says:

    Thanks for the tempting post on Pacari. I can’t wait to grab my bar.

  5. Sandra says:

    This a quite interesting chocoate variant. Having a huge sweet tooth I’m dying to try this. Hopefully I’ll be able to find some in the local market.
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    • Doreen says:

      Hi Sandra: Thanks for your comment and visit to the blog.

      On Chocolate Travel Diversions with Doreen, we are profiling artisanal chocolate that most often is not available in supermarkets or drugstores. Most often, you need to buy direct from the producer (in person or via a website.) But occasionally, you will find gems such as Kallari in speciality stores such as Whole Foods. It’s best to contact the chocolate maker direct to inquire where you can buy their products in your locale.
      Doreen recently posted…Pacari is king of Ecuadorian chocolateMy Profile

  6. Stacey says:

    Odd but definitely something I want to try. The idea of eating raw chocolate infused with salt is very exciting. Hope I can find these here or at least something close to it.

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Stacey and thanks for your comment.

      You can order Pacari and Kallari bars online, so if you can’t find them locally, that’s always an option.

      I like the Pacari Raw chocolate because it is smooth. Raw chocolate from other companies I have tried can be granular and doesn’t offer the smooth decadence of traditionally processed chocolate.

  7. Lenin says:

    I have tasted pacari chocolate, all are wonderful, my favorite is the one that has passion fruit flavor, it is sweet, sour and a little salty too, excellent !

    • Doreen says:

      Wow! That sounds like an interesting blend of flavour sensations indeed. I’ve had passion fruit truffles from other chocolatiers and it is a beautiful blend with dark chocolate. Particularly Paul Wayne Gregory of London makes superb passion fruit truffles.
      Doreen recently posted…Pacari is king of Ecuadorian chocolateMy Profile

  8. Johnny says:

    Pacari sounds very interesting. I must admit, I don’t know a lot about chocolate, although I love it. I assuming it’s a darker chocolate, correct?
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  9. Calra says:

    Chocolates! I just can’t get enough of them, sweet tooth or no sweet tooth, they are some of the best nature has to offer. Thank you for introducing a new one, from Ecuador!

  10. Veronica says:

    Hi Doreen! I share your penchant for chocolates and their foreign variants which I think are some of the best! I’ve never heard of Ecuadorian chocolate before and I’m sure to try it one of these days. That is if it’s available in stores.

    • Doreen says:

      You’ve come to the right place, Veronica! I hope you’ll enjoy the blog.

      A good way to find the particular chocolate you may want to try (if you can’t make it to that particular country) is to send an e-mail to the company via the “Contact us” tab on their website, and ask where the chocolate is available in your country.
      Doreen recently posted…Pacari is king of Ecuadorian chocolateMy Profile

  11. Aayna says:

    Pacari chocolate bar sounds nice and being a chocolate, it is indeed tempting. I will look out if it is available in my country, surely wish to give it a whirl.

  12. Joy says:

    Organic chocolates you say? I never tasted the superb, unique taste of Ecuadorian chocolate before, and I’m dying to try one. I have read from other blogs that aside from Mexico, Ecuador yields some of the best cacao beans in the world.
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    • Doreen says:

      Hello Joy and thanks for your comment.

      I must say that to date, I have not yet tried any Mexican chocolate that I have like. Have you tried some that you thought was particularly good?

      In my opinion, the best cacao beans on the planet come from Madagascar. I can hardly wait to go there and taste some chocolate that is made right there where the cocoa is produced.
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  13. Doreen, you dietician is spot on. An acidic diet is one of the premier platforms for most of our disease processes today. Diseases such as; Diabetes, Arthritis, Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer to name just a few. Obesity & Hyperlipidemia are both directly linked to an acidic diet. There are alternatives…
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  14. A very interesting article on what appears to be a “healthy” chocolate. Do you know if this chocolate is acidic or alkaline? I love the fact that it is Organic, Kosher and Gluten free.
    Martin Casper recently posted…Trust; The Most Dangerous Five Letter WordMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Martin and thanks for your comment/query.

      On the whole, chocolate is generally categorized as acidic. Some cocoa beans have a higher acidic content and those seem to be the ones I favour the most, as in cocoa from Madagascar. It is often described as “acidic and fruity” and I absolutely love it.

      A dietician once recommended to me that I should ‘avoid entirely or dramatically limit’ my intake of highly acidic food and drink. That would include red wine and dark chocolate … so it’s not likely to happen!

      I will contact Pacari and see if they have any comment as to the specific acidic/alkaline breakdown of their cocoa, and if I find anything to enhance my comment, I will post it here in a follow-up comment to you.

  15. Salika Jay says:

    Nine awards is big. I love their covers. I was in a Malaysian chocolate outlet recently called Beryl’s Chocolate. I was reminding you 🙂
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    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Salika, and for the heads-up about Beryl’s Chocolate. I will check them out.

      I plan to be in Malaysia on 2014 and will definitely visit them then.

  16. Jena Isle says:

    Hi Doreen,

    Now, I want to taste that chocolate. My favorite flavor is chocolate and milk. mmmm..delicious.

    Thanks for the heads up!
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  17. Yum. I’ll need to track some down in Toronto!

    • Doreen says:

      Right on, Luba! I’ sure you’ll enjoy it. Let me know if you find some Pacari in Toronto. SOMA might be the best place to try.

      • Sandra says:

        McEwan in Shop at Don Mills carries Pacari chocolates; although their organic raw 100% cacao is perpetually on back order, which is a pain because it is one of the better tasting 100% dark chocolates IMO.

  18. Doreen says:

    Hi Scott and thanks for your comment.

    You never really want the accompanying flavour to be TOO strong or it will overpower the flavour of the chocolate. It should be just strong enough to taste, but still allow the flavour of the chocolate to shine thru. Pacari does this nicely with the salt & cocoa nibs bar.

  19. This sounds good. My favorite thing to do with chocolate is to combine it with another very strong taste to see how they match, so chocolate with a salty ingredient sounds right up my alley.

  20. I’ll have to look out for this chocolate – for a few years I worked at a glatt kosher healthcare organization, and the only chocolate available was kosher. It was not the best chocolate experience! I used to sneak in Kit Kat bars from the convenience store down the street … Don’t miss the kosher choco, although I’ve heard it doesn’t have to be such a disappointment.
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    • Doreen says:

      Right on, Krsytyna: I assure you that Pacari is at least a half dozen notches up from Kit Kat! Keep your eye peeled for it and for Kallari, which is quite similar: both Ecuadorian bean-to-bar sustainable and organic operations. Enjoy!

  21. Hannah says:

    I definitely appreciate raw chocolate companies that try to come up with innovative flavours. I really regret not buying more Pacari when I saw it in the States!

    • Doreen says:

      Right on, Hannah. As you’re on the move alot, you may not have easy access to a mailbox where you can receive packages, but they do ship to 26 countries around the world. Cheers, and happy travels!

  22. Thanks for the post Doreen! I’ve always considered chocolate as guilty pleasure. Though I’ve never tried raw chocolate before, your article intrigued me, I will look for raw chocolate and give it a try.
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    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Inga, and for joining us from the UK.

      I love the fact that our audience here is so global. But that is the nature of chocolate. It does indeed have global appeal! 🙂

      Yes, do try some raw chocolate, but don’t give up if the 1st one you try is not to your liking. I had previously tried raw chocolate that was very granular and I didn’t like that. But the Pacari RAW is nice and smooth, and you’d hardly know the beans are pure and raw and haven’t been put through rigorous roasting.

  23. Geek Girl says:

    I love chocolate as much as you do I suspect. I like to buy free trade or organic when possible. I am big on dark chocolate. 🙂
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  24. Doreen says:

    Hi Susan and thanks for your comment. The good thing is … you can order these bars online in the event you can’t find them in a retail outlet. Did you try the Kallari bars (from Whole Foods) yet?

  25. Susan Cooper says:

    I love the sustainable farming practices. It give me hope that we might be able to save this world and still have amazing chocolate. The Raw Chocolate with Salt and Cacao Nibs sounds sinfully good. I just wish I could go out and get some right now… Seriously!!! 😀

  26. Lubna says:

    Your favourite Pacari bar sounds awesome. Thanks for this post, I learnt a lot. I didn’t even know that tree to bar chocolates existed.

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Lubna: Thanks for your comment. Yes, you should investigate the premium chocolate scene in India. I’m sure you’ll find some companies like Pacari, who are growing their own cacao and making it into finished chocolate products. Let me know if you find any!

  27. Patrick Huff says:

    I will cerrtainly seek out raw chocolate now. Sounds pretty intense.

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Patrick: Yes, you’ll find the raw chocolate to be more intense and generally less silky smooth than chocolate made thru traditional methods. But I must say, the Pacari raw chocolate was smoother than I expected it to be. That’s probably why I enjoyed it more than others.

  28. Doreen says:

    Thanks for dropping into the blog, Jon.

    Yes, you just might enjoy raw chocolate. It’s definitely less sweet and has a more intense flavour than cocoa that has been roasted.

  29. Jon Jefferson says:

    I have had a sea salt infused chocolate before that was really nice. I am not sure if I have ever had anything from Pacari before (but then chocolate hasn’t been something I seek out, blame it on me being a guy).

    The idea of a raw chocolate is interesting. I feel it may be something I need to seek out to add to my list of interesting items eaten.

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