Friday, July 12, 2013

Costa Rica Study Abroad Day 12- Tirimbina Chocolate Tour

TIRIMBINA CHOCOLATE TOUR


This two and a half hour walking tour will tells the secrets and wonders of one of mankind’s
 favorite foods: chocolate.


Originally from Central America, this plant has an extraordinary history;
 it was one of the most important products for the Mayan and Aztec cultures, as well as other 
Central American cultures.

The discovery of America led to the introduction of chocolate in Europe, transforming it into the 
product we all know today.

The cacao plot, which is not in commercial use, was formerly cultivated in the ancient way – 
mixed with other forest trees. It was used for research purposes several decades ago and is 
currently used for environmental education, showing the traditional processes.

During the hike, the natural and cultural history of the cacao tree will be explained.

On arrival at the plot, the artisanal process by which cacao fruit is transformed into chocolate will
 be demonstrated (harvest, fermentation, drying, etc.), while the story of pre- and post-colonial
 chocolate is told. 

At the site, one may taste different kinds of chocolate, which are prepared on the spot in the 
traditional way.

By showing this processing of cacao to chocolate, the tour aids in the conservation of one of our
 native plants, the cultivation of which is one of the most friendly to the environment.


 http://www.tirimbina.org/ecotourism/chocolate-tour.html

The following pictures are of  a few lectures we have had over the past two days as well as the cacao process and the animals spotted on our way to the demonstration.






Entrance to the Cacao Demonstration 

The Cacao Flower

The Cacao Pod




The Inside of the Cacao Pod



The Fermentation Process 

The Traditional Grinding Process After Drying and Roasting 





A Local Member of the Rat Family-