|Oscar roasting the cacao seeds|
|Harper, Cal and Andrea remove the toasted skins|
|Grinding the seeds into cocoa powder|
|Grinding the cocoa one last time, with sugar added|
|Mixing the cocoa powder/sugar with milk|
|Eating it up!|
Since we’ve arrived at the farm we’ve been lucky to make chocolate a couple times. We start with the fruit of the cacao tree. It is yellowish in color and about the size of the mango. We cut the fruit in half to find large white seeds covered with white gooey stuff. Next we need to remove the slime around the seeds so we sucked on each one. It tasted somewhat sweet, but nothing like chocolate. Danny was worried about Cal choking on the seed so he kept reminding him not to swallow it. As he was hungry and really wanted a snack, he kept asking, “Can I have something I can chew and swallow?” After rinsing the seeds in water, we put them in the drying rack. The seeds take about 8 days to dry. Fortunately there were some seeds in the solar dryer that we ready to use so we collected them and put them in a pan. We roasted the seeds until the outsides were all black. After letting them cool a bit, we peeled the blackened skin off the seed and put the seeds in a bowl. Voila! Chocolate! It was quite bitter, as it had not been sweetened. It smelled great but the kids were still not impressed. To sweeten it up we mixed the seeds with a block of sugar and ground it all up in a hand grinder. We all took a taste of the powder and now the kids were happy. Cal and Harper both kept sneaking pinches of the chocolate, but we still weren’t done. We put the ground chocolate back on the stove, added some milk, and stirred. It thickened on the stovetop and came to be rich, thick, fudgy syrup. Finally, we poured the melted chocolate over some fresh pineapple chunks and dug in. Yum.