12 May 2009

Where does chocolate come from??

There are just certain things I never really think about. One of them is where chocolate comes from. When I break into a Snickers or eat some M & Ms the last thing I think about is where it all came from. Cameron and I had the opportunity while in Costa Rica to take a chocolate tour by visiting Finca Kobo which produces cocoa beans among many other things. It was a fascinating tour as we were able to see it hanging off the trees in its original state. It looked very similar to an acorn squash. Meet our guide and new friend, Alex who was a true botanist and expert on all things living.

Here he cut into it to reveal the cocoa beans......
but wait they look more like slimy marshmallows......
and have no real smell or anything to indicate cocoa.
We were given the chance to taste them and deep within the citrusy pulp there lay a cocoa bean.
They let the beans ferment in a wooden box, that is right ferment. Yuck!
And then allow them to dry in the sun on these screens. They then are shelled and ground up and then made into wonderful treats, like this chocolate spread that we had after our tour.
I told Cameron I will only eat meals now on with a table laiden with flowers....A girl can dream can't she?

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