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
Here are the steps:
Click on the
picture to see the whole process laid out.
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.
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.
The beans are transferred
from the spice factory to the chocolate factory, where they are
roasted in a big roaster for 1 hour.
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.
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.
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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