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Cacao Highlights of 2021

Can you believe that we are wrapping up another year? 2021 has been an incredible year. Admittedly, I have experienced some setbacks that have resulted in me taking a much-extended break, which I am still on. However, there have been so many incredible experiences that have occurred that have been permanently etched in my memory … Most of which are related to my daughter having her first experiences a little later in her short lifespan since the COVID shutdowns precluded her from doing many of the normal things that a two-year-old would do.

COVID continues to serve as a great illustration of the creative nature in us that drives innovation. Despite limitations being placed on much of what we are accustomed to doing, it hasn’t prevented people from continuing to use their God-given talents to create something that can be enjoyed by others.

Hence, I thought it was fitting to wrap up 2021 with my take on chocolate-related highlights for the year. Talk about a challenging task given that everyone’s work I’ve come across should be included! Nevertheless, I did my best to narrow down those things that pleasantly caught me off guard and were captivating.

Finca Dos Vistas cacao beans

I started doing cacao bean pairing in 2020. This year I tried beans from Finca Dos Vistas in Aripo, Trinidad, and fell in love with them. They are distinct in flavor, yet incredibly versatile as they compliment so many foods and drinks, and make wonderful tasting chocolate.

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Cuna De Piedra’s unfermented drinking chocolate

Cuna De Piedra’s molinillo set was my first introduction to unfermented drinking chocolate. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, I walked away from the experience wanting more, so that says it all!

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David Greenwood-Haigh’s book Monty and the Jungle’s Secret

I’ve written blogs on how cacao inspires people, and David Greenwood-Haigh’s story is a unique one in that it inspired a fantastic children’s book! Despite having fictional characters, it is packed with great historical information on the history of cacao. Kids and adults of all ages will learn a lot while being thoroughly entertained at the same time.

Watch my interview with David:

Good King Cacao’s snacking cacao

I love eating cacao beans, but not everyone finds them quite as delightful. Fortunately, Kim Wilson of Good King Cacao has come up with snacking cacao that non-cacao bean fans will enjoy. Consumers will be thrilled to know that their purchase of this nutrient-dense snack helps improve the livelihoods of those in cocoa farming communities.

Watch my interview with Kim:


Chocolate inspired CocoTerra’s founder Nate Saal to create a home chocolate-making machine - much like one of your kitchen appliances. You, too, can be Willy Wonka! Need I say more?

Watch my interview with Nate:

Flor De Maria’s Limited Edition - 75% - Usulután, El Salvador bar

This was my first introduction to a bar made with cacao from El Salvador. It was captivated with the first bite. This is a limited edition bar, so check out Flor De Maria’s website soon to get one (or more) for yourself before they are gone!

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Beltran Cacao Maker

Gabriel Toledo Beltran’s cacao sculptures serve as a tangible illustration of how cacao inspires people to create unique and stunning art.

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El Buen Cacao

I stumbled across this shop while our family visited Palm Springs and it was full of pleasant surprises, one of which was their Ghost 80% Tabasco Mexico Blend. I will be posting a blog on them soon! In the meantime, go to their website to enjoy their array of dark chocolate.

We all possess creativity. It is just expressed in different ways. May cacao serve as the catalyst for your creativity!

As 2021 comes to an end, I want to personally thank you for your support! May you have a truly Merry Christmas and may 2022 be a joyous year filled with exceptionally beautiful memories and cacao-related experiences! I look forward to seeing you all in 2022!


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