Tree to Bar

As always the food seems to have taken over my last Caribbean adventure, however I haven’t forgotten to blog about our choc-tastic experience.

Our very own Hotel Chocolat gets all its indulgent, velvety stash from the Rabot Estate in St Lucia. This cacao plantation owned by Hotel chocolat is responsible for all of our guilty pleasures.

A and I decided to do something different this time around and not just lie on the beach and turn into brownies . The Tree to Bar tour set up by the Rabot Estate was a great experience and made the holiday even more special. If it wasn’t for A’s love for chocolates we wouldn’t have done this but i am glad he pushed for it.

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It was fascinating to learn about a hundred different types of cacao and how they start to creep up from the tree trunk. The pods not only come in this beautiful deep red but also in an orange, yellow, green and burnt red- a good method of recognizing the type of cacao pod.

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Don’t quote me, but i think this was No. 95. This pod isn’t ready just yet to harvest as the indentation hasn’t turned slightly yellow.

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If I am wrong this man will definitely kill me. Mr Cuthbert was the man responsible for imparting all the knowledge about the plantation and the pods, and boy did he take his job  seriously. He was so passionate about his job that it reinstated my belief in the idea of no matter where you are in the world but if you enjoy what you do it just makes the journey a little more worthwhile. I was compelled to pay attention to each word he was saying.

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The fun bit had only just started, these two men showed us how to graft our own cacao plant and once the plant was ready to face the real world and become a tree we would get a call from the Rabot Estate asking us if we would like to visit again and do the needful. I am soo ready to go back to St Lucia!

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Tadaaaaa……… Choc-xited much!

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The beautiful beans that are left out to dry. The farmers are meant to be extremely efficient as St Lucia is a rain forest and its very rare that a day goes by without a couple of passing showers. We witnessed one just while we were there and in no time all the beans disappeared.

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This is one of my favourite pictures. Hands of a hard working man with his livelihood.

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The second part of the tour involved us making our own chocolate bar with cacao nibs, cacao butter and sugar.

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Me at work. This better be one hell of a bar.

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I was tempted to lick the whole pot

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I think the gentleman read my mind and got me a spoon

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Those white things that you see are cacao beans and all the amazing chocolate martinis that we slurped on were made using cacao in its raw form

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Having a bit of a Murad Osman moment with the gigantic pitons. Someone’s trying to be original, maybe not!

I did say a little farewell to St Lucia at this moment but that definitely didn’t mean that I wasn’t coming back.

Until next time! Sparkle on!