Monday, November 14, 2011
Hoboken chef Maricel Presilla extols Ecuadorian chocolate at New York Chocolate Show
The world's largest chocolate event, this weekend's show offers the opportunity to discover new and hard to find brands from around the globe, including American Heritage Chocolate, a Hackettstown brand sold only at national historic sites, and Pacari, an Ecuadorian brand championed by Hoboken chef Maricel Presilla.
There's never enough time to learn what you're tasting," Presilla told the crowd as she took the stage Thursday afternoon, bowls of chocolate and giant Ecuadorian cacao beans laid out before her. "I believe Ecuador is becoming so important in the world of chocolate it requires a little seminar."
Presilla appeared at the show on opening day to lead a discussion of the Ecuadorian chocolate's flavor, the philosophy behind the biodynamic philosophy on their plantations, and the origin of the Pacari brand in particular, which traces back to an email she received nearly 10 years ago.
The Ecuadorian chocolatier was first interested in naming Pacari, "GranCacao," a Venezuelan name owned by Presilla. However, she believed the brand should have an identity true to its country of origin, and Pacari, or "nature" in the indiginous Ecuadorian Quechua language, was chosen. Years later Presilla sampled Pacari, unaware the chocolate was produced by the man who first approached her, and after admiring both its taste and ethic, she's traveled the globe championing the brand ever since.
It was only this summer when Presilla was making these presentations to small crowds of customers at her Hoboken shop Ultramarinos. Since then she's appeared at London Chocolate Week and Paris' Salon du Chocolat, finding a global audience amenable to the flavor of Ecuador.
at 2:05 PM