Cheese and Chocolate Due to its diversity of altitude and climate, Bolívar is sometimes called the “Food Bowl of Ecuador” as its variety of products is enormous. These include highland crops (e.g. corn, wheat, barley, lentils, kidney beans and peas) as well as coastal products (oranges, mandarins, cacao, coffee and bananas, etc.). Particularly renowned in this province are the products made by a cooperative set up by the owners of twenty micro-enterprises which produce and sell cheese, chocolate, sausages, nougat, yoghurt, wild mushrooms, woven items and essential oils. The group reinvests its profits in micro-enterprises and social projects. This
socially conscious economy has gained ground and gradually won the battle against poverty and marginalization. The different types of dairy produce and chocolates made by El Salinerito are a commercial success both inside and outside the country, thanks to their excellent quality. The chocolate liqueur and paste made from top-quality Fino de Aroma cacao have positioned themselves so well on the international market that they are now highly prized as raw materials in Switzerland, with its prestigious chocolate industry.