Esmeralda is an Ecuadoran chocolate. This is a first for me; at least, I don't think I've ever had Ecuadoran chocolate before. My former fiancee gave me some of this for christmas. It made a wonderful gift, because wow is this stuff good. I have not had the opportunity to taste the Esmeralda head to head with Valrhona but it is definitely in the same league.

Esmeralda has a slightly different flavor than a lot of bittersweet chocolates do. Unfortunately, the form I got it in was little bite-sized, individually wrapped pieces which had only this information on the label:

My mom says that "supra" means "over" or "above", which in this context is probably supposed to be taken as "superior". If anyone can tell me what "caffarel" means, let me know. So with no ingredient list to go on, after careful tasting I have concluded that the cocoa powder used to make this chocolate was processed with alkali, since it has a bit of a Dutched flavor to it. Also, I believe that it is not entirely sweetened with sucrose (cane sugar), but partly with fructose, since it has an elusive but detectable fruity quality to it.

This stuff is expensive (it was $24/pound in the shop where my fiancee got it), but that's probably because it is individually wrapped. In any case, I'd definitely recommend getting some if you can find it. At least to give it a try.