There is a grove of Cocoa trees at the Fr. Jim Center for Agriculture. The cocoa grows in pods, when the pod is cut open there is white fruit that covers multiple large beans. The fruit is scooped out and washed off the beans, then the beans are set out in the sun to dry. It takes several days for the beans to dry, then they are roasted. In Haiti this is done over an open fire.
When the shell begins to crack, the beans are finished roasting and then they are peeled. What is left is a very hard black bean. In Haiti where machinery is not available, the beans are processed with a pillion, a large mortar in pestle made from a 3’ tall tree trunk that has been hollowed out in the center. The cocoa is pounded into paste by two men with rounded off poles. . This paste is called cocoa liqueur. The cocoa we harvested from the center this past fall made about 8 lbs. of cocoa liqueur. This made almost 20lbs of chocolate bars.
We brought the liqueur to the US to make the chocolate. To make chocolate it is put through a wet grinder with pure cocoa butter, sugar, and for milk chocolate milk powder. This process can take up to 36 hours. After the chocolate is made, it is poured into 1/4 pound bars and sold for $10.00 each. The income from sales is one more step on the road to sustainability. Currently demand our strips supply. Our goal is to increase production to where we can offer this chocolate for sale on this website.