the launch of my chocolate journey of exploration
Hello chocolate lovers!
This post is about the trip that launched my interest and curiosity about where and how cocoa becomes chocolate.
My first education in this process occurred in January, 2009, when I had the good fortune to spend a week in the Dominican Republic on the fabulous beach at Punta Cana. Lord, I love the Caribbean for its beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts.
During our stay, we enjoyed a fabulous full-day tour with the Bavaro Runners which took us to a sugar cane plantation where we drank the rum made from the sugar cane, a tobacco plantation where we puffed on cigars rolled right before our eyes, a coffee plantation where we drank the dark delicious elixir made from locally grown coffee beans, and a cacao plantation where we learned that our precious chocolate originates in odd looking melon-like pods filled with very large seeds encased in an icky white goop.
That is where it all began for me! I didn’t realize it at the time, but the seed for Chocolatour had been planted!
So just how does cacao grow? I get into that in detail in other posts on this site where I talk to the farmers who actually grow the cacao. But let it be known that I will be forever grateful to that glorious day in the Dominican Republic, when I realized that the origins of chocolate have a very fascinating story to tell. And it was all thanks to a local tour that took us off the beaten path and introduced us to some incredible specialities of the island.
Have you been to the Dominican Republic? What did you especially like about it? Did you take any life-changing excursions as I did? Or have you taken similar tours elsewhere that truly made your trip? I’d love to hear your thoughts about experiences that took you off the beaten path and helped create amazing travel memories that you will never forget.