In the month of February, visitors from Europe and elsewhere come to Trinidad to experience our sunshine, beaches, and carnival activities. In February 2022, however, a bean-to-bar chocolate maker Monica Cardoso from Portugal, substituted cocoa for carnival, by participating in our Cocoa Adventure Tour – a seeing and doing agro-tourism experience.
The two-week immersion tour began on Feb 12th and involved visits to three cocoa farms: Jacinta and Michael Milne’s Bethany Estate in Talparo, Annette Mill’s Charamal Estate in Heights of Aripo, and Roods and Perches in Tableland. Based on Trinidad’s flavour profile map, the farms in agro-ecological zones 3, 1 and 5 respectively, have differences in terroir.
Other significant differences are in acreage or size; topography – flat (Bethany Estate), undulating (Roods and Perches), hilly (Charamal), and years of operations. Their common denominator, however, is cocoa excellence in the production of fine flavour Trinitario cocoa.
The Cocoa Adventure experience enabled our visitor to participate “hands-on” in farm activities such as-planting young trees, organic farming practices, pruning branches, harvesting, and cracking pods, setting fermenting boxes, raking / turning beans in drying tray, preparing dried beans for market.
In addition to the field activities, there was time for networking and information sharing with local chocolatiers and knowledge experts in fine flavour cocoa, and traditional cultural practices in local cocoa farming.
The beach activities included visits to Balandra Bay on Trinidad’s north- east coast, and Maracas Bay for mouthwatering bake and shark and coconut water. Non- cocoa activities featured visits to the National Museum, two art galleries and hummingbird watching at Yerettê, A copy of The Portuguese of Trinidad and Tobago: Portrait of an ethnic minority, signed by author Jo-Anne S. Ferreira, completed the Cocoa Adventure package.
Our bean-to-bar chocolate maker, departed for Portugal via Amsterdam on Feb 26th, with a better understanding and deeper appreciation of how Theobroma cacao is grown, and the processes involved in producing fine flavour, fermented, sundried cocoa beans. She was happy to substitute cocoa for a taste of carnival.
If you are interested in a Roods and Perches Cocoa Adventure tour or wish to get more information on our agro-tourism product, please contact Wynette at 1 868 689 1973 or if your prefer email us – info (at) roodsandperchescocoatt (dot) com