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Posts Tagged ‘Taza Chocolate’

Toledo, Belize

After surviving a violent thunderstorm and a chorus of howler monkeys the first night we stayed in the Jungle House at Cotton Tree Lodge, I was ready for something a little more structured.

On the schedule the next morning for Chocolate Week led by Taza Chocolate, was a trip to a local cacao farm. We would see how cacao pods are grown, meet the farmer, and have lunch with his family. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting. I think I was imagining some kind of plantation where the trees grow in neat rows kind of like an apple orchard and that maybe afterward we’d sit around a big farm table in the kitchen and swap stories. Wrong, completely wrong.

Meet Eladio Pop, cacoa farmer.

Eladio and a cacao pod

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Seeing that is February, and that chocolate will soon rain from the sky on Feb. 14, I have a story I’ve been meaning to tell you. It involves a journey to Central America, a magnificent thunderstorm deep in the jungle, the prehistoric roar of howler monkeys, a tree house, a giant Wolf spider, cave diving, oppressive jungle heat, and chocolate – lots and lots of chocolate.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

The story actually begins in a snowy industrial section of Boston on a December day when my friend Jessica and I decided to take a tour of a chocolate factory.

Now, there are no golden tickets in this story but there was a brochure that gray and miserable afternoon that promised adventure, and warmth, and a week of chocolate in a place called the Cotton Tree Lodge near Punta Gorda, Belize.

Yes.

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