Chocolate Factory

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We had gone to a spice factory before, but what we really wanted to see in Grenada is a chocolate factory. They had shown us the beginning of the process at the spice place, but not past the fermenting and drying. The first two steps are done at the spice factory, and then the beans are moved to the chocolate factory.

Here are the steps:

 

Click on the picture to see the whole process laid out.

 

 

  1. The cocoa pods are harvested from the trees, and cracked open to reveal the beans inside. There are many inside one pod, and at this time they are connected with and covered in a white, slimy substance.

  2. The beans ferment for 8 days, and then are laid out on big trays in the sun to dry for a week. Every 1/2 hour, they are turned by someone shuffling through them in a zig-zag pattern.

  3. The beans are transferred from the spice factory to the chocolate factory, where they are roasted in a big roaster for 1 hour.

  4. The beans are then put into a big machine that cracks the shells and discards them, and sorts the inner seeds into different sizes. I'm not sure of the reason for this, as they are all combined later, but they do.

  5. In another machine, they add white sugar (brown is too moist) and excess cocoa butter from step 6., and it's all ground into a paste. Then in the refiner, vanilla and lecithin are added. It is all, once again, ground up and smoothed into a paste, without any lumps or granules.

  6. In the cold room, the chocolate paste is a) put into molds for regular eating bars and b) squeezed to extract cocoa butter, which is put into the mixture again in step 5, and the excess is sold.

Chocolate Process ]

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