Today we went to an organic family run Cacao farm. It was about 1.5-2 hours from Manuel Antonio.
Here is a view on the way along the road.
They grow their own Cacao along with other fruits and spices and process the whole thing to the bar. It was really interesting! One of the things I loved most about this tour was that you could really see how much our guide, Juan cared about what he was doing and doing it right. Organically and with the whole fruit, not taking out the cacao butter and adding in hydrogenated oil to sell the chocolate and cacao butter separately.
These are a few pictures around the farm. This is a tree house you can stay in for $40. It's just a room with a bed. Open air so you sleep in a mosquito net. There is a shared bathroom down stairs.
This is the chocolate making room. Coolest room in the place. The weather was actually quite pleasant.
This is a little area outside the bathroom. Those seats are made with moiter and reused glass bottles.
This one is going to eventually be an out door kitchen counter for the women to cook outside in the summer hot months.
We were quite early waiting for the tour, so we got to relax a bit with the dogs and chickens.
This is where the beans ferment over to the right and on the left is the drying room. It was so hot in the drying room and you have to go just to experience the smells. The fermenting was, well, stinky and the drying room smelled wonderful!
The pulp around the bean is so yummy, not at all what you would expect. You must go and try it.
Making chocolate the traditional way.
The not so traditional way.
This was a really cool home made vacuum to use in part of the process.
About now C started getting sick. He had some gluten the first day of the trip. So not many more pictures. But the family was very nice and helpful. Juan's mom made him some juice and a tea with honey. His sister got us a thermometer because he felt like his temp had dropped a ton. I was popping back and forth between L and Dr. C and little C.
L really enjoyed the chocolate making process.
After our very yummy lunch with special gluten free muffins for our family, which were delicious by the way! We rushed out to get C to the hotel where he could sleep.
An hour of driving on a rutted dirt and gravel road sometimes only wide enough for a single car. He made it and when we got to the hotel, the bell boy was talking to me, then caught a glimpse of C's face and completely stopped talking. I told him he wasn't feeling well and he rushed us inside.
After the second round of throw up, C is all normal again! He is ready to eat again. Gluten free, of course.