My Grenada Chocolate Festival Experience

 In 2018

My Grenada Chocolate Festival Experience

In 2014 the Grenada Chocolate Festival was born. The aim was to bring the love of chocolate grown on the island to the visitors to the island in a fun and informative way, to raise awareness and educate.

Recently the 7th Annual Grenada Chocolate Festival came to an end. This festival was completely different to the six before it. You see, because of the coronavirus pandemic the 7th festival was entirely virtual!

The virtual festival included many of the old friends and also new friends connecting through the miracle of technology. There were live Instagram sessions, zoom masterclasses in yoga and wellness, and other interactive methods all adding up to a great month of May giving loads of people the chance to feel apart of the Grenada Chocolate Festival like never before.

I write a food and travel blog Kitchen Talk and Travels and was invited to Grenada in 2015 as a guest of the chocolate festival. I was told my visit to Grenada and the Chocolate Festival would change my life – clichĂ© I thought – but in fact, it did just that! I returned again the following four years and was planning to attend again this year until the coronavirus pandemic changed those plans.

When I first visited the island I thought cocoa beans hung on the trees looked kind of like coffee berries. What a culture shock to see the actual cocoa pods. The pods are quite large and fit neatly into two of your hands. The colours of the cocoa pods vary from pale yellow to greens to deep dark reds.

Each pod holds a number of cocoa beans however at this stage you probably wouldn’t associate them with the chocolate you know and love. From harvest to a chocolate bar there are many processes the humble cocoa bean goes through like, fermenting to start the flavour development, drying, roasting, winnowing (getting rid of the bits of shell), grinding and finally proceeding to the production of the actual chocolate bar.

Do not take for granted the process that artisan chocolate goes through as you slide open the foil covering and take a bite. Do not rush to chew and swallow your bite but instead take a moment to let the chocolate melt on your tongue while you savour the smell and tastes of the plantation where it was grown. You can almost feel the offshore breeze if you close your eyes and concentrate!

So what have I experienced during my visits to the Grenada Chocolate Festival?

During my times at the festival, I have been a Cocoa Farmer for a Day (check out my blog for details), together with island legends Esther and Omega cooked authentic Grenadian recipes with the added ingredient of chocolate, made homemade beauty products with Sheba, visited Belmont Farm to see how they are researching the development of chocolate growing, eaten fresh grapefruit from the trees while on a cocoa farm (the sweetest grapefruit I have ever tasted), enjoyed social events like an evening at the West Indies Brewing Co. drinking chocolate beer, Chocolate Street Food Wednesday at Dodgy Dock (True Blue Bay Resort) and so much more.

I have also taken part in all of the festivals since 2016. I have made chocolate and banana ice cream, baked mini chocolate tarts, mini chocolate cheesecakes, baked chocolate and spice banana bread and this last one did a virtual cocoa tea making session. If you are interested to see what I will be doing next year then put the dates in your diary for 7th – 12th May 2021 and come and see for yourself.

I have been to Grenada five times! Check out all of my Grenada travel posts before you book your big trip!”

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