DEDICATED to my parents: the biggest chocolate lovers and cacao addicts I know:-)
Once in the garden of the "Maison de cacao/ House of the cacao" I was truly amazed. The cacao trees (cacaoyers in French) looked almost unreal (and so perfectly beautiful): covered from top till bottom with cocoa fruits in different colours (from green to orange or pink). Did you know that its scientific name "theoboma cocoa" means "food of God"?
Imported from Amazonia and Central America the cacao tree is indeed a special tree that not only grows in hot and humid areas, but lives in the shade of other trees. The cocoa has been produced in the French Antilles for almost 2 centuries, but now no more big plantations are left.In the "Maison du cacao", in between the lovely cacao trees garden the cycle of cocoa production is displayed: from the cutting of the ripe fruits from the trunk with an axe, through the fermenting of the seeds in the sun and the drying process till the ready cacao paste.
We enjoyed the most the cacao-tasting session at the end of our visit. It included tasting of a fresh cacao bean, then a dried one and ending up with the best chocolate drink (cacao paste melted in water plus cane sugar) I ever had…Last but not least we tried also the "liqueur au chocolat"(mix of rhum and cocoa paste) and plenty of other home specialties.
From this Monday onwards (14-21.12) we are for a week on the archipelago Les Saintes for some diving and exploration:-)