Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Grenada Chocolate Factory
All the guides about Grenada talk about the famous chocolate factory operated by the Belmont Estates at Hermitage, at the north east corner of the island. As Al is a fan of chocolate, he had a taste of their chocolate, and phoned Edmund, the overseer, to arrange a visit to the factory on Monday (April 30th), and obtained directions to get there. We took a collectivo (mini-bus/van) to Grenville, then another one to Hermitage, total trip being about an hour and half. The driver let us out at the foot of the hill, and told us to hike up. We got so steamed up that we went all the way up the hill, and asked some people lurking around where the factory was. Apparently we went too far up, the chuckled and told us to go back almost half way down. The “factory” was a small, unpretentious building, bearing its name. I guess we were expecting to see something bigger, so missed it while walking up. We found Edmund inside, and got a small tour about the process of chocolate making, by crushing the cocoa beans, mixing it with cane sugar and grinding the mixture in a marble mill into a paste, then adding cocoa butter taken out of some other cocoa beans, and molding the whole thing into bars. Apparently when cocoa butter is extracted from the cocoa beans, the remaining substance is the cocoa powder we buy on the market.