Archive for Chocolate

I Want Candy

Posted in bocas del toro, Green Acres Chocolate Farm with tags , , , , , , on February 10, 2009 by reachdownbetweenmylegs

Candy on the beach, there’s nothing better
But I like candy when it’s wrapped in a sweater
Some day soon I’ll make you mine,
Then I’ll have candy all the time

I want candy, I want candy

BOW WOW WOW

 

We made a 25 minute boat trip to Green Acres Chocolate Farm, stopped along the way to snorkel, have lunch and view dolphins in the bay in front of Green Acres.  Linda and David Cerutti  have owned Green Acres for about 11 years.  The Criollo cacao trees grow under the canopy of the large trees on the farm.  In direct sunlight the cacao trees will not survive.  The pods grow off the branches, ripen turn yellow and hopefully get picked before fungus, birds, squirrels or marsupials invade.  The trees are pollinated by little fly like insects.  The seeds are picked out of the pods (David said he usually starts the process when he knows has about 1000 ripe pods).  Once the seeds from 1000 pods are obtained they are placed into fermentation wooden boxes for 4 days, then placed into a drying bed, raked several times daily to prevent the seeds from molding, the process of drying can take days to weeks depending on the sunlight and humidity.  Once dried the seeds are stored and can be roasted when David and his employees have the time or enough seeds.  The  dried seeds are then roasted in a small propane roaster at 250 degrees for ~30 minutes.  The seeds are then cooled.  The next step involves cracking the seeds “beans” and then pouring the cracked seeds “beans” in front of the fan and letting the shell be blown from the “nibs”.  From David’s Cerrutti Chocolate cookbook gives a definition of nibs “These are the broken roasted cacao beans. They resemble crushed nuts. The taste is rich and dark. Chocolate nibs can be used in place of nuts in most recipes.” The nibs still have the cocoa butter and the cocoa solids. They are then ground in a small grinder 10 times to produce chocolate “liquor”.  The liquid chocolate “liquor” is poured into molds and when cooled are in their solid form. The cocoa powder that we buy in the supermarket is made in an industrial process in which the nibs are ground then pressed under extreme pressure and the cocoa butter is extracted and what is left is cocoa powder.

View of the bay Cerutti Chocolate Farm

View of the bay Cerutti Chocolate Farm

Sailboats in the Bay

Sailboats in the Bay

Cacao Tree in the shade

Cacao Tree in the shade

 

Cacao Pod

Cacao Pod

Drying Rack

Drying Rack

Green acres is the place for me.
Farm livin’ is the life for me.
Land spreadin’ out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside

Vic Mizzy