of Grenada (tree-to-bar) that sells its cacao directly to the company. Rare Trinitario cocoa beans are grown by members of the Grenada Organic Cocoa Farmers’ Cooperative. The cocoa trees grow on small farms in the rain forest, protected by nutmeg, banana and mango trees. Harvesting is done year-round as the cocoa pods are ready, and the beans go up the hill to the Grenada Chocolate Company's small solar-powered factory to be made into chocolate.
The first thing we noticed when we arrived was the tantalizing aroma of chocolate! We leapt out of the bus and ran toward the building, with visions of chocolate bars dancing in our heads.
We were given a tour of the chocolate factory, located in a small house, by Edmond Brown, a chocolate maker and tour guide extraordinaire. Vintage and handmade machinery is used to meet the requirements of small-batch chocolate making, while solar energy powers the machines, including the ancient cocoa-roaster.
|Credit: Grenada Chocolate Company website|
Here are the ground cocoa beans which will be transferred to another room for the next process.
Finally, the best part of the tour... the chocolate tasting! Cutty, our island tour guide is shown setting out the various bowls containing chocolate. We tasted organic chocolate bars of 60%, 71%, 82% and 100% cacao, as well as 60% with nibs and 71% with sea salt. It was fun to compare the taste all of the chocolates side by side. The 100% was very bitter and is used for cooking only. I liked the 71% and the 82% the best. The 60% with nibs had little bits of crunchy bits and the 71% had sea salt on the bottom. Good, but not my favorite.
Chocolate tasters in action!