Saturday, April 7, 2012

Yes, the Ultimate Chocolate Experience!

Last week the younger kids, some friends, and I had the delightful pleasure of visiting Rococoa for the ultimate chocolate experience! It was a lovely surprise when we found out that we knew the owner.
To begin with....

 there was chocolate face painting!

Followed by a tour by a passionate chocolatier, who relayed the history of chocolate....

It was interesting to discover that the first chocolate making workshops were established 
in the Netherlands in the 1580s and then in 1815,
a chocolate factory, Van Houten, was founded in the Netherlands.
In 1828, Van Houten patented the first chocolate powder.
(a little bit of Dutch History for our half Dutch children!)

We learned of the love, care and hard work that goes into growing these trees 
that produce this "food of the gods!"

Would you believe that the above photo depicts the inside of a cacao pod?
Pulp covered cacao seeds....
these are piled up under banana leaves to ferment,
causing chemical changes that alter the look and flavour of the seeds.
After about a week, the seeds turn dark brown and
 begin to taste a little like bitter, dark chocolate.

The seeds then need to dry for about a week, preventing them from going mouldy
 once they are packaged in bags for shipping. 
Our guide broke open one of these seeds for us to smell...
the aroma of chocolate was so intense, I felt like I had eaten a chocolate!

We learned how the seeds are roasted, winnowed to remove the hard outer shell,
and how the cacao bean "nibs" are collected for grinding and mixing, becoming a course brown dough called crumb. The chocolate crumb then needs refining and conching to produce a smooth,
well rounded and mellow flavour.

We had a peek into the past and the interesting utensils used in fine chocolate making.

We learned much that we didn't know about real chocolate!
We got to eat the finest chocolate from the chocolate fountain and learned about chocolate making.

Rococoa is an interesting place to visit.....
all sorts of amazing discoveries to be made and a definite must for chocolate lovers!

We got to make our own chocolate creations with edible chocolate "play-dough".

One can enjoy breakfast or lunch there too.

I enjoyed the best ever Venezuelan Hot Chocolate with chilli,
while the kids enjoyed chocolate milkshake and hot chocolate.

Have you had your chocolate today?


  1. Now that is an outing I would have enjoyed. My mouth is watering reading this post.

  2. You can always take the kids next time you are in CT :)


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