Sunday, 16 January 2011

A Chocolate Trip to Grenada

It was this time last year that Kate and I embarked on a very special Chocolate adventure and I think it’s high time I told you about it! So Cocoa has been selling a unique chocolate bar made by The Grenada Chocolate Company for about 6 years now. What makes this bar unique is the fact the chocolate it is made from the Cocoa tree to the bar all in one country, (which is rare for chocolate as most Cocoa beans get shipped off to be made into chocolate in Europe.) As chocolate is worth more then Cocoa beans, this gives poorer Cocoa growing countries like Grenada a chance to make their own profits. It is also the smallest chocolate factory in the world proudly owned as a cooperative and the factory is even Solar powered. You can’t get more ethical then this!

The chocolate also tastes amazing; it’s got a deliciously dark flavour and fruity notes unlike any other. You really have to try it to believe it. Kate and I had been dying to visit this wonderful place and see for ourselves, just how these unique bars are made. After years of saving & dreaming we finally flew over and stayed in a wooden house situated in one of the Cocoa plantations that produce the beans for the bar. This was perfect as we were surrounded by these colourful pods hanging in the rainforest like a rainbow of lanterns in the trees. We had a chance to work with the farmers collecting the pods together, using a machete!

So to make the chocolate we have to start from scratch, we cracked the pods open, pulling out the sticky cocoa beans and put them in the fermenting sheds just next to our wooden house. Every day the beans were turned over in the sheds and everyday we could smell a strange chocolate brewery aroma. After a week we took the beans to dry in the sun on the drying trays, watching out for the rain in case we needed to wheel them undercover.

On to the next stage, we then took the beans to the factory ready to be made into chocolate! The factory smells like heaven before we even enter the building, wafts of chocolate circle the air.

We are shown how these almond-like beans are roasted, shelled, crushed, mixed, pressed, conched, tempered, moulded and packed into the chocolate bars we sell in the shop. It’s more complicated then you think but these small machines and hard workers make it look simple.

This was all started by Mott Green an enthusiastic New Yorker who fell in love with the island over 20 years ago. With a background in engineering he has helped create this mad house of whirring machines responsible for all these chocolate bars, he also lives in the factory! Mott is hopefully making a visit to Cocoa in March so watch this space for that.

Check out the Grenada Chocolate Company’s website at..

Check out where we stayed at…

If you fancy trying these bars yourself check out our shop at ….

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