This morning, I hiked for two hours in the jungle~poisonous red frogs and eyelash vipers made for colorful road side attractions. Most of my readers will know when I say it was like hiking up Willamina's driveway for two hours~with a heat index of 106. So, I zoned out of a bit of the lecture. I do vividly remember the owner/farmer saying that once the cacao bean was used as currency. Gotta admire a country who uses chocolate as money!
This viper is teeny and hangs out generally in yellow flowers~waiting to eat....hummingbirds. And that's pretty much all there is to say about it's character.
This trek was to view a cacao plantation and see the process of chocolate from tree to finished product. It was incredible to taste the range of flavors from each farm. Just as wine has distinct terroir, so do the cacao tree.
This company has an interesting and meandering story. Once I'm stateside, I will upload all my own photos from the tour. We drank chocolate Aztec style~with honey and chili and then did pairings. We had four basic chocolates from local farmers and piles of: coconut, basil, ginger, chili, rosemary, black pepper, sea salt, cinnamon, vanilla from which to choose. It was incredible to have these flavors in one's mouth, staring down at the Caribbean with the breezes blowing.
There was a sloth outside the roasting shed that would look down when the owner whistled. That was as much movement as we got out of it.
The tempering process.
Another view of the tastings. I am truly loathe to return. Not ready to go from 106 to 24 degrees. Not ready to leave the ocean and pura vida. One more fabulous meal in town tonight and tomorrow is the shuttle back to the city to catch my flight early Wednesday.