Similar to the Bordeaux region of France and its famous wine, 'Arriba' refers to a famous coastal region of Ecuador situated between the Andes Mountains and Pacific Ocean. The cacao grown here is widely considered to be some of the finest in all of the world and is renowned for its full taste and complex fruity, floral notes.
The Legend of Upriver Cacao
How did the 'Arriba' region get its name you ask? In the early 19th century, a Swiss chocolatier traveled to Ecuador in search of a hidden treasure. One foggy morning, while navigating up the Guayas River, he spotted a few natives hauling freshly harvested cacao pods on their backs. The wild cacao's complex fruity, floral aroma captivated him. When he asked them where they had found it, they replied, "rio arriba," or upriver.