Smaller Ecuador sits directly on top of the Equator, where cacao typically thrives. Historic cacao plantations literally dot the valleys of central Ecuador that lie between the Cordillera Costanera (coastal hills) and the Andean Cordillera Occidental.
Ecuador's most desirable, centuries-old Forastero variety is found to the north, including in the region surrounding the town of Quevedo. Here, it has been so protected from certain changes to other world cocoas that it is often referred to in its own right as "Nacional". Unlike the CCN51 cacao type, which is bred for productivity in southern Ecuador, the rarified Nacional is noted for its pleasant floral aromas and flavors.
E. Guittard Quevedo 65% Cacao Bittersweet chocolate offers up trademark Nacional chocolate taste – powerful yet flowery chocolate with accents of green forest, tea and subtle nut and a lingering banana and pound cake finish.