Quarantine and Chocolate

Quarantine and Chocolate

Ok…….I roped you in with the chocolate and I promise I’ll get to it in a minute. I can’t stop wondering about something and it’s been driving me crazy.  It’s been three months of quarantine and now everything is opening up, but I still don’t understand the lines of people waiting to get into stores. Who are these people and where were they before this? I didn’t go out much, but I came up with two theories of grocery store lines.

  • With fast food and restaurants closed, people had to shop often and cook all their meals at home.
  • People needed to get out of the house and grocery stores were their only option. Some waited on line to socialize even if they just bought a few items.

Now I’ve been out more often and have seen for myself….there are still lines….sometimes long and going around corners, but I think it’s mostly because stores are limiting the number of people and let shoppers in “poco a poco”. Lucky for me, I can stay home which takes me to the reason you started reading this blog…

CHOCOLATE

chocolate pods
buds and flowers on the tree

I’ve often heard that making chocolate is like making coffee. I’ve done that before: pick, dry, shell, roast and grind. It wasn’t very difficult and I made coffee with varying degrees of success.

When I looked up the chocolate process I was immediately intimidated. It has its own vocabulary: Fermentation, winnowing, refining nibs, raw cocoa liquor “conched” so I decided to close my computer and just try.

First of all, it’s hard (for me) to know when to pick the chocolate. Once you open the pod up, with a knife and hammer, you can see if the beans are easy to remove.

the dark pod was no good but the other three were fine
pod looks beautiful but not ready
  • I pulled out the beans and put them on a tray. They were kind of slimy so I left them outside in the sun. I left them for a couple of days and they were kind of dryish when it started to rain.
  • I stuck them in the oven on low heat and checked until they seemed hard and dry. They were easy to crack open, some by hand and others with a pilón.
  • Once the shell was off, I put them in a coffee grinder until it turned to powder.
  • I ground some of the powder with a little sugar and mixed it with coconut oil and froze it.
opening pod
taking out the beans
drying the beans
a real piece of chocolate

Totally amazed….I made a chocolate cup which tasted like real chocolate. I’m anxious to try it again now that I somewhat know what I’m doing. As I perfect it, I’ll let you know.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. You write so well.
    It’ like being there

  2. I would love to go back to your place again someday. Since we saw you I know make artisan chocolates. My website is DancingChocolate.com. I get my chocolate from all over the world and would love to get some from Puerto Rico

  3. Muy interesante.

  4. Hi Vicki…you have a lovely website. Dancing and chocolate must go hand in hand because we also had the owner of Dancing Lion as a guest at TJ Ranch. There are a few chocolate people here on the island and I often share posts on my TJ Ranch Facebook page. Jeanmarie Chocolat just won a recognition award.

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