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While in the Dominican Republic, Kenny and Portia signed the four of us up for “The Ultimate Dominican Experience” excursion. As part of the tour, we stopped by a “typical plantation house” where we were able to walk through a residence and learn about the cacao tree and how it’s used to make chocolate. 

Our guide cracked open a fruit from the tree to reveal white, slimy seeds which are actually the cocoa beans which are used to make chocolate liquor, cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and chocolate. They had seeds in different stages of drying, and then they ground them and let us taste the dark, bitter chocolate. We didn’t appreciate the fact that the tour included a mandatory commercial presentation to sell all of their chocolate-based products. We had to laugh when Kenny bought an entire case of their chocolate tea! However, I greatly enjoyed the wonderful smell of the coffee plant’s blooms and seeing the process to make the chocolate. Feb. 2019