Absence of chocolate is just not happening, just my absence while making some real transitions in my life, mostly that of moving part-time to Ecuador related not to cacao, but coffee....and cacao.
Now that may seem strange as a combination, but I have long had a passion for coffee and have developed one for dark chocolate as well, knowing the health benefits offered from this incredible food. So following my heart back to Ecuador, fully immersed in coffee, cacao trees are in many cases used as shade for coffee trees. This is also a way to diversify crops and sources of income.
So, as I move forward and eventually secure my own small coffee plantation, cacao trees will be in place even before the coffee trees! There will also be banana trees and likely papaya, as it grows virtually wild in the area where I will be located in Southern Ecuador.
Current plans include a potential trip to visit Kallari Organic Chocolates, one of the Organic dark chocolate manufacturers in Ecuador this summer, of which there are several, and get an up close and personal experience of just how it's done. I will be potentially be meeting up with Roxanne Browning to visit both the factory and plantation in June. It should be a great experience, at least for me!
So interesting things lie ahead with cacao! I should be making some additional posts here on my visit, assuming all goes well and I don't "fall in a vat of chocolate!" :D