From Harvesting to Eating…Chocolate

“There were piles of white seeds where honey leaked from”. Jorge Amado

When we came back to the cocoa plantation, there were piles of the yellow fruit waiting to be opened and we were all set to open them up – one by one… Actually, we discovered that Domingos had already done that. We were lacking practice, so we joined in on the experience helping to separate the fruit from its shells, the seeds from its fruit and the honey (nectar) from its seeds. In between one process and the other, we didn’t miss the opportunity to eat the fruit and drink its juice.

When all the stages had been successfully accomplished, we crossed the waterfall and headed back to the farm to pick up Alibaba – the horse who helped us carry the seeds, which were now ready to be sundried.

“Freed from the honey, the cocoa sun-dried hidden within the barges”. J.A.

Domingos set up a fire in the furnace and we poured the contents of the baskets carried by Alibaba onto the metal drying rack. Slowly the seeds began to dry, losing its slimy texture. The roof was opened and the same process achieved – here the sun would be responsible for drying out the seeds over a longer period.

The night fell. It was a crisp night. Haroldo jumped inside the warm beans over the furnace. We followed him, and enjoyed the delight of a relaxing ‘cocoa bath’.

“At the end of eight days, the cocoa seeds were black and smelled like chocolate”. J.A.

Luckily, we didn’t need to wait for eight days before trying Abracadabra’s chocolate. As there are usually beans from all stages on the farm, we could enter a delicious routine for the whole time we spent there preparing and eating experimental versions of our own chocolate.

Before we left the magic farm, Haroldo made sure each of us planted a tree – either a native or a fruit tree. Abracadabra has 30 hectares of pasture field that was deforested for cows. With the help of some friends from Eco-Village Piracanga, who happily surprised us with their appearance on our last weekend, we all contributed to reforesting the place. The tree that each of us planted was part of a Restructured Forest programme, encouraging diversity and productivity by growing more fruit trees, timber for fire and construction wood, medicinal plants, food for animals, oil…

Following a day of planting trees, we chose a 10m high tree atop the hill to climb in order to watch the sun setting. With so many colors emanating from the sun, the clouds, the flowers, and the hummingbirds flying around us, we enjoyed the perfect way of celebrating the magical gifts of nature.

The next morning was time to say good-bye, not only to the wonderful people we met at the farm but also to the mother hummingbird and her two fledglings who, after humming intensively, flew through the air for their very first time.

Click here to watch our video ‘From Harvesting to Eating Cocoa’.

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