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Chocolate

Cacao growing outside of Tiquisate, Guatemala

There, on the tree.  That football shaped, greenish fruit growing out of the trunk or branch.  That's it.    That's a cacao pod.  That is where chocolate comes from.

I remember seeing it for the first time when I was nine years old, and thinking it was the strangest thing - stuck there on the side of the trunk.

But, oh, how I love chocolate!  Jor Man went through a phase a couple of years ago when he was very interested in making chocolate.  We tried it, and failed miserably.  It didn't even taste good.

I asked my cousin, while we were in Guatemala, to get us one so that the kids could see for themselves where chocolate comes from.  He got us two!!  These were yellow (ripe?).

We played with them a bit, first, of course.  And then we cut them open.

Campster and Sher Bear playing with the cacao pods
They cut very easily, which surprised me.  The skin in hard like a winter squash, but the inside is soft.  It's whitish inside, and then there are little beans, cacao beans in the white.  It doesn't look a thing like chocolate - or taste like it.

Pretty much every kid I know has smelled unsweetened cocoa powder, or unsweetened baker's chocolate and taken a taste. Horrible bitter stuff!  Well, straight cacao beans make that seem yummy!

What the cacao beans look like raw
Jor Man tried tasting one and hated it!!  Before the beans can be used, they are roasted.  Then they add fat and sugar, and sometimes milk.  Well, that's the short-version.  If you want to read about how to really make chocolate, The Story of Chocolate is a great book for kids.  It has information on the history, geography, and manufacturing process.  We read that and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl one year.  Of course we watched the movies, too.  It's fun to compare the old and the new - an opportunity to compare and contrast.  Makes a fun unit study.  Delicious, too!

Wish you were here!



1 comment:

Lynn said...

hi cousin! i really do wish that you were the older cousin so that you could have been my mentor while i was raising my boys. you have followed a path i longed for but didn't see clearly and was too timid to follow. while i'm quite happy with where i am today, the adventure of getting here could have been so much smoother and much more interesting if i would have been able to shadow you. i love reading your blog. glad you had a great trip!
~lynn

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