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Tuesday
Apr242018

A Day At The Chocolate  Farm

 

“Does anybody want to go to the chocolate farm this weekend?”

I’ve never heard such a unanimous YES before, but who could really turn down the chance to take part in trying freshly made chocolate?

The chocolate farm was in Puerto Jimenez, so we all gathered on the Collectivo and headed to Ranchos Raices de Osa, a small family-run ranch where the chocolate farm is found.

Our expectations didn’t go beyond tasting the chocolate and perhaps learning about its production. However, our experience exceeded this by FAR, turning into a wonderfully educational afternoon.

Our tour was led by Herman and his daughter Vanessa, who began by introducing us to the fruits grown in their farm. We tried the seeds of the cacao plant and were taught about the uses of the Tuete plant. This medicinal plant is much like Aloe Vera, and traditionally used to treat wounds and bruises. We all slathered some onto our legs and felt the relief on our insect bites.

Next, out came the machete and we were offered some white pineapple, which was absolutely DELICIOUS. This was accompanied by fresh coconut water, which we drank from the coconut using bamboo straws under the enormous Ceiba pentandra, commonly known as the kapok tree. We were decorated like warriors using annatto seeds and educated about the wildlife in the area.

After this, we were led into an open-air bar, where bananas and a chocolate fountain were awaiting us. After spending weeks in Camp Osita with limited access to chocolate, we were understandably excited and made a mess covering our bananas with as much chocolate as possible! Following this, we were presented with a fantastic spread of fresh fruit and chocolate, milkshakes and ice-cold water, which we devoured whilst watching capuchins swinging through the trees.

All of this, and we hadn’t even started to learn about the chocolate production! After a quick demonstration from Vanessa’s mother, we each took it in turns to grind the roasted cocoa beans with a stone, sift away chaff and blend the chocolate, sampling it along the way. If we weren’t helping with production, Herman was applying our chocolate face masks, which tasted delicious and left our faces feeling unbelievably soft and smooth.

We left feeling full and having had an amazing afternoon, with wonderful hosts. It’s inspiring to see how the family have converted their farm and property into an organic, natural environment and I will definitely try my best to go back to visit again!

By Isabelle Cross – Frontier Costa Rica | Media & Journalism Intern

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