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Cocoa | Ecuadorian Chocolate, Chocolate, chocolate book, history of chocolate

The Golden Bean
Origins of Cacao in Ecuador  

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Discover the Golden Bean and the origins of Cacao in Ecuador, through a story that takes the reader on a journey that spans for 5,300 years, revealing archaeological and genetic findings and evidences of the first humans who cultivated and consumed cacao.    


Learn about this tropical fruit and its seeds that processed become the chocolate that captivates palates worldwide.  If you appreciate chocolate, and are curious about what is behind the food you consume. If you delight by the view of a cacao orchard, or feel attracted to stylish chocolate shops where cacao is king. Then, we invite you to get to know the “Golden Bean”, and savor this book with all your senses.


The book focuses on the role of cacao as a central source of income for Cacao is a major crop and source of income for Ecuador, nowadays the third largest producer and exporter of cacao beans worldwide.  The country has been exporting cacao for almost five centuries, and this trade has influenced the struggle for independence from Spain, gave impetus to the Liberal Revolution, and was key for opening Ecuador’s economy to the world in the XIX and XX centuries.


In The Golden Bean. Origins of Cacao in Ecuador, author Lourdes Paez and photographer Fernando Espinosa do justice to the rich history of cacao, and the old tradition of craft chocolate in their homeland.  Moreover, they show cacao as the finest ambassador of their country, bringing joy and well-being worldwide.

Physical book | eBook | Chocolate Academy | Ecuador Land of Cocoa | Chocolate Book
Dry cocoa | Chocolate Academy | Ecuador Land of Cocoa | Chocolate Book
Libro físico | Academia de Chocolate | Ecuador Tierra del Cacao | Chocolate Book

I invite you to meet

“The Golden Bean
Origins of Cacao in Ecuador

and enjoy its rich content.

* Free shipping cost only Ecuador

Dry cocoa | Chocolate Academy | Ecuador Land of Cocoa | Chocolate Book



(Ecuador’s Culinary Prize 2015)

The prize consisted of an original painting created for this award by the Ecuadorian artist Miguel Betancourt.  The prize was awarded during the Gastronomy Congress “Latitud Cero” organized by Espai-Epicur with Chef Mauricio Acuña. (Quito 2015)

In 2015, the authors received the National Gastronomy Award, for publishing a book about Cocoa, a fruit that has been key in the diet and nutrition of Ecuadorian families, as well as being the crop that has contributed to the economy and culture of Ecuadorians for millennia. The award was presented at the 2015 Latitud Cero Gastronomic Festival.

National gastronomy award 2015 | Painting | Ecuadorian Chocolate | Ecuador Land of Cocoa | Chocolate Book
National gastronomy award 2015 | Plate | Ecuadorian Chocolate | Ecuador Land of Cocoa | Chocolate Book

Lourdes Paez Paredes


Lourdes Páez Paredes, award winning author and entrepreneur. Began her career in Communication for Development as a consultant for FAO, UNICEF, USAID and local NGOs. Founder and CEO of the Communications and Media agency IMAGCOM, she received several international awards for her work such as the Magellan Communications 2006. Author of Ecuador Tierra del Cacao (2015), a book about the Origins of Cacao in Ecuador, she has been working with cacao and chocolate for over 20 years. Passionate promoter of Ecuadorian cacao, she took on the task to research and write this book as a way to honor the fertile and diverse land of Ecuador, her homeland. As a supporter and advocate of fair trade, Lourdes Paez created the chocolate brand Lachó Cacao (, to encourage the consumption of chocolate made with single origin cocoa beans, crafted into delicious superfood products. The drive to create this book came from deep interest in chocolate and the genuine desire to publish information about the ancient history of cacao in Ecuador. Lourdes Páez, author was joined in this task by Fernando Espinosa, photographer. As a team, they combined photographic art with skilled research and writing, along four years that took to complete their travels throughout Ecuador, Europe, North America and Central America. Following the trail of the “Golden Bean” they visited orchards, ports, factories, chocolate shops, museums, laboratories, and kitchens. In these places, they captured brilliant photographs and interviewed farmers, chocolate makers, food scientists, sommeliers, traders, and many people involved in the chocolate business all over the world.

Lourdes Páez Paredes | Author | Ecuador Land of Cocoa | Chocolate Book
Cocoa | Fruit| Ecuador Land of Cocoa | Chocolate Book
Physical book | eBook | Chocolate Academy | Ecuador Land of Cocoa | Chocolate Book
Cocoa | Open fruit | Ecuador Land of Cocoa | Chocolate Book


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