This is Day 7 of a 9 day series – to view all posts from this series click here!
I made a chocolate bar, and then went night zip lining!
My Mom and I started the morning at about 8:15am, on our way to Che’il Mayan Chocolate for a chocolate farm tour and chocolate bar making! After arriving at the main building to check in, we drove just across the road to the chocolate (cacao) farm! A Cacao farmer met us to give us the first piece of the tour.
He passed around a full grown Cacao pod – inside this are little cacao beans coated in a (delicious) white mango-like fruit. Yes, chocolate is a fruit so it is definitely on the food pyramid! 😉
Here’s a tree with a couple hanging off of it. We were told that these pods don’t fall off the tree, and they’re so secure you have to either cut them off or twist and pull them.
Here’s a little baby cacao pod – it’s so cute!
Our guide opened up a cacao pod, so we could eat a seed. He recommends just sucking the white fruit off the seed and spitting the seed out since it’s a bit biter. I love the seed though!
After learning about the chocolate farm, we went back to the main building, to make chocolate bars!
Mr. Julio Saqui led the final piece of the tour. He let us each take turns grinding down the cacao nibs into chocolate paste, just like we did at the chocolate tour earlier on our trip.
He then took a poll from the group of us, and asked what percentage of chocolate we wanted to make the bar. The group responses varied from 100% to 10% haha so we settled at about 65%. What exactly does 65% chocolate mean? It means that 65% of the bar is from cacao beans, and the remaining 35% is additives. In this case the additives were sugar and cacao oil (cocoa butter).
Once all of the ingredients were mixed together, he scooped the chocolate into a chocolate bar mold and stuck the molds into the freezer to harden the chocolate.
He talked with us for ten minutes (we learned what white chocolate actually is), and then he pulled out the chocolate and we all got to have a little bar. It was so good! My Mom and I bought a couple (ok, a lot) of chocolate bars to bring back for my Dad and brother. To learn more about Mr. Saqui’s business, check out our blog post featuring him!
After the tour, we went next door to a Maya Women’s co-op store. The women in the co-up make items and sell them – here’s a couple of the things the really well made items that they make and sell!
After the tour, we went back to Placencia. It was lunch time now, so we went to the Belize Ocean Club’s lunch restaurant right on the beach!
I got fish tacos and of course an ice cold Belikin!
Check out this view though! It’s literally right on the beach 🙂
After lunch, we decided tonight would be a great night to go back to Bocawina to do some night zip lining! I scheduled us for 7pm, and we decided we would get there at 5pm to eat dinner first.
We grabbed a table, and ordered our food.
They started us off with an appetizer of bread and magic. I know this picture looks horrible, I’m not a great photographer and definitely not a great food photographer… but just know it was SO good!
We then had an amazing bisque, check out that cool design!
I had the shrimp skewers over rice and WOW – they were so good! I would drive out here just for the food. Turns out, the chef is featured in the cookbook Flavors of Belize!
After dinner, we went out to get geared up for the night zip lining! My Mom decided to pass on this part of the night 😉
We put on helmets with head lamps, geared up, and headed up to the course! As we’re walking through the dark, they remind us to keep an eye out for snakes… I’m on my way up to zip line. In the dark. In the jungle. When jaguars are active… and what am I most afraid of? Snakes. We didn’t end up seeing any, which is good haha but at one of the platforms we did hear something walking nearby!
If I had to choose which was better, night or day zip lining, it would be a super tough call. The night zip lining was super thrilling! I would love to do it again during a full moon, with my head lamp off 😀 The day zip lining, you could see a lot more of the jungle details. There’s this really cool suspension bridge you cross on the zip line course, and on one of the lines you go right over it. They were both incredibly fun, and I’d say do both if you get the chance!
We drove back home and I was ready to sleep as soon as we got back. My brother was scheduled on an 8:30am flight the next day, so we planned to leave to the Placencia airport at 7:30am.
I hope you enjoyed Day 7 of our 9 day series! To view all posts from this series as they are released click here!
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