One of the perks of staying at an organic farm in Colombia, is the chocolate grows on trees! Tonight Dave and I roasted and shelled some cacao beans, then ground them up and we’ll melt them into hot chocolate during breakfast mañana en la mañana.
Here’s how it works:
- When the pods turn yellow, pick them, slice them open with your machete and scoop out the beans
- These beans are covered in a white pulp and should be fermented for four days
- Next dry the beans in the sun for a week
- After that roast them in a pot on the stove until they’ve turned completely black – it smelled like they were burnt
- While they’re still hot, grab the beans and shell them. Throw the inside of the bean into a new bowl and chuck the shell
- Grind the shiny, shell-less beans with a grinder to make a paste
- Put dollops of this paste on a banana leaf and let them sit (away from the cat) for at least four hours
- Each dollop (about the size of a small cookie) will yield five cups of hot chocolate
Our gracious host – the son of Mama Lulu – rattled off a few chocolate facts as he stirred the cracked metal pot of charred beans.
- A cacao tree takes three years to produce seed pods
- For every 100 flowers the cacao tress produces, only 5 will set fruit
- The trees will live between 40 and 50 years
- One pound of beans will make enough chocolate for a family to consume hot chocolate every day for a week
- About five pods yield one pound of roasted beans