Pacari is a fairly new chocolate company focused on creating treats in line with social and environmental sustainability principles. To this end, Pacari both sources and makes its chocolate in Ecuador, and is involved in bringing solar-powered lighting to rural Ecuadorian farms.
Yes yes yes Hannah, I hear you say, ethics are all well and good (read my thesis!), but what of the chocolate?
Pacari Dark Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs
Moving away from my obsession with the bar format, I chose these two chocolate confections from a line-up that also includes chocolate covered golden berries, banana, and espresso beans.
I first tried the cacao nibs variety, as nibs usually provide me with the strong, bitter and earthy hit I so often crave.
If, like me, you tend towards a “the more bitter the better” approach to cacao nibs, you may find Pacari’s version a little disappointing. The nibs were tiny and often overwhelmed by the sweet chocolate, yet on occasion burst with my beloved nutty, roasted espresso flavours.
The chocolate has a nice fruity sweetness, and the combination is very moreish. Still, I would have liked a bit more punchiness in the nibs themselves.
Pacari Dark Chocolate Covered Guava
One bite of these chocolates and I was immediately back in Mauritius, chewing on guavas from a street stall and wondering why on earth the fruit was so popular when it seemed to be comprised of 80% seeds. It was a nice taste and all, but I distinctly remember feeling that it was far too much work for, well, fruit.
But back to Pacari, these guava pieces tasted of muscatel raisins, red wine, banana, and sherry, while the chocolate coating retained the same fruity vanilla notes as in the nibs version. In addition, the dried guava was fairly dense in texture and thereby avoiding the gooshiness that I find so unappealing in raisins and sultanas.
I didn’t eat the guava box all in one go, and during the second tasting was overwhelmed by how much the chocolate tasted like watermelon. Seriously, my mind boggled.
And then I realised I’d stored them next to a box of watermelon chewing gum, and the mystery was solved.