Cocoa Farm adventure
This summer I had an amazing opportunity to visit a cocoa farm in Ecuador. It was a wonderful trip and one I will always remember because of the local indigenous people who shared their stories and customs with us. Here are a few selected photos taken at the organic cocoa farm which we had visited. Most noteworthy was the transportation. Getting there was a bit of a challenge. The only mode of transportation was a motorized canoe. Consequently, this made for quite an adventure.Visit Ecuador
Dios, patria y libertad
Disembarking the canoe onto a narrow, nondescript, highly foliaged, dark and muddy path was a bit jarring. Directly ahead of us there was sunlight with a most beautiful canopy of hibiscus bushes. The hibiscus bushes formed a tunnel toward the entrance of the cocoa farm. This farm doesn’t have a commercial name, it is one of the many organic farms which big commercialized companies contract to grow for private label.
This is where I met Maria, who I named the cocoa princess. Maria the cocoa princess met our group in her native attire. She passed the raw cocoa bean as the process was being explained. Then she did a native dance for the group before she and her mother made a cocoa paste for us to taste.
This cocoa paste was rather rustic and unrefined in texture, although the flavor of the unadulterated cocoa nibs was magical. These cocoa nibs were bitter as they should be, but they had a smoky dark chocolate flavor that I love. Ecuador is a magical place with beautiful people.