Chocolate: From Bean to Bar

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Photo by Cindy

I had some people ask, “Why Nicaragua?”

In fact, even the border guard asked me that. My answer was simple. It is warm.

But it is more than that. Nicaragua is known for their production of chocolate and coffee. Those are exports I can fully support. (In fact, I support them in my daily life.) I was muy excited for this workshop at the chocolate museum. (ChocoMuseo.) It was called From Bean to Bar. You start with cacao beans and then by the end of the workshop, you have made your own chocolate bar. A-Maaaahz-Ing!

Photo by Cindy

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First we took the cacao beans that had already been picked, fermented, and dried and we roasted them red hot coals. Once they were roasted and smelled heavenly, we peeled the cacao beans. Then we put the peeled beans into stone bowls and mashed them until they became powder. Then we mashed them some more until they formed a thick dark brown paste.

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Photo by Cindy

Now it looked like delicious chocolate but it still tasted very bitter. We mixed it with some milk and honey and water, into jugs and we got to taste the different ancient cacao drinks. From the Inca to the European, we learned how the different cultures flavoured their chocolate drinks to their preferred palate. Chili, pepper, milk, honey, cinnamon. All the flavours mixed together with the cacao beans to form complex combinations. Then they showed us how the cacao beans are mixed in a machine for 12-18 hours with sugar to form different grades of chocolate. We poured the chocolate mix into molds and voila! After a few hours in the freezer, we took home a chocolate bar which we were involved in creating.

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We walked back to our rental house on a sugar buzz, excited to pick up our very own chocolate bars.

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Photo by Cindy

The 3 hour course was not expensive, it stayed in-house at Choco Museo and it was definitely one of the highlights of our holiday for me. Totally worth it!

 

About Amanda

Living a simple quiet life on the Gulf Islands, BC.

One Thought on “Chocolate: From Bean to Bar

  1. I fully support travel for chocolate and coffee. Oh and Brie is too gorgeous!!!

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