Today we went to an organic family run Cacao farm. La Iguana Chocolate 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, Jorge 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!
This is the inside of the fruit where the beans are found. 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.
C feeling totally normal...
Then out of nowhere, C started getting sick. Not sure what it was, but out of nowhere, his head started hurting really bad and he looked like he was going to faint. This is not the first time. Anyway, 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.
I missed the end of the chocolate making, we quickly ate the yummy meal the family made for us, it was vegetarian and she even made gluten free muffins for C. They were so yummy and moist. I would have never guessed they were gluten free.
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. Maybe these are new migraines he is experiencing, I'm not sure. The only change we have made is introduce peanuts back into his diet. I guess we will take those out again and see what happens.