Saturday, October 22, 2011

El Ceibo Bolivia 77% Dark Chocolate Cocoa Nibs & Uyuni Salt

2.8oz (80g) bar
Ingredients: Organic cocoa mass, sugar, o. cocoa nibs, cocoa butter, salt, soy lecithin

Corporate Info: I'd never heard of El Ceibo before, but it turns out the Bolivian cooperative is pretty great, bringing together various indigenous groups and becoming a model for South American farming cooperatives in general. In collaboration with a European chocolatier (site is in French), El Ceibo makes only a few products for the international market. Today's choice, their 77% bar with nibs and salt, includes salt from a the world's largest salt flats, which are, not coincidentally, in Bolivia.

Appearance: Not very glossy, European-style thin and flat, greyish-reddish.

Smell: Raw and beany, with cacao's buttermilky tang.

Taste: Super smooth chocolate punctuated by nut-textured, more intense nibs. Chocolate is indeed tangy but not sour. Sugar is well-incorporated: I would say it's not at all sweet, but obviously that's not true, it's just that the sugar balances the chocolate's bite and no more. Salt is supposedly in crunchy crystals, but I'm only rarely picking them up; it's more like when cooks add enough salt to a dish to enhance the flavor without making it taste “salty.” Overall, this is pure, bright, smooth-textured, slightly tannic beaniness, with nibs for flavor and texture contrast. Good stuff.

Conclusion: El Ceibo Bolivia 77% Dark Chocolate Cocoa Nibs & Uyuni Salt doesn't taste gimmicky, it's just good, pure, bright, chocolatey flavor with a little extra something.


  1. If you like smooth and rich tasting very dark chocolate, I think you will also enjoy the El Ceibo Bolivia 85% Dark Chocolate Blackout. It is also reasonably priced (at least where I purchased it- at the Coop in Ashland, OR).

  2. Wow, 4,086 square miles of salt flat. I like that it serves as a major transportation route.

    This sounds great, and Chloe Chocolat is super cute too. Not to be confused with Les Chocolats de Chloé in Montreal, which is even super-er cuter !

  3. Thanks to both of you for your recommendations! Sounds like I have a few more bars in my future :)

  4. Thank you for the article and please Teast the great 75% Heritage (from wild bean. El Ceibo is Co-op with 1200 members families.

  5. Lots of El Ceibo fans (or employees) here! Good stuff from a good company--I'll make a priority of trying more.