Ecuador: How to make chocolate from seed to bar by hand

How to make chocolate with the bean

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cacao fruit

High in the clouds forest below Quito there is a place where chocolate is still made by hand (almost). Here the chocolate is a pure form that pre-dates Rudlophe Lindt’s addition of cacao butter to Henri Nestlé and Daniel Peter’s milk chocolate drink to make bars.

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In this photo you see an empty pod, bowl of seed, processed seeds, and final product. Now I’ll show you how it’s done.

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This series of compartments are where the cacao juice is drained from the seeds.  Over three days the seeds are moved from top to bottom as less and less juice comes out. The juice was traditionally thrown away but these guys founds a new use for it which I will get to in the “tasting” section.

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These are the drying racks. This rack is full of wet seeds.

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This rack has nearly dried seeds.  Here in the cloud forest seeds take…

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