In 2021 the National Confectioners Association reported the following statistic: “An overwhelming 86% of Americans report that they’ll share a gift of chocolate and candy this Valentine’s Day.” This statistic clearly illustrates that chocolate remains a beloved confection that the majority of people enjoy and want to share with others.
However, while we are enjoying these heavenly creations, we should give a major shout-out to all of those involved in the process of creating it from the cacao farmers, import/exporters, chocolate makers, and chocolatiers. They are instrumental in making our celebrations and lives even more deliciously special.
This year our family celebrated Valentine’s Day with special treats from around the world. Let’s start with giving thanks and praise to our cacao farmers who dedicate their lives to caring for the beautiful cacao trees which bear the fruit used to make chocolate. Some farmers are responsible for growing cacao trees and fermenting the beans themselves, much like the team at Finca Dos Vistas in Aripo, Trinidad. In addition to fermenting the beans, Finca Dos Vistas goes one step further and actually creates flavorful drinking chocolate and mouthwatering 67% chocolate bars to eat that is such a treat to the senses.
Now let’s shift our attention to chocolate makers and chocolatiers and extend our appreciation to them as we have the good fortune of enjoying the fruit of their labor. They are responsible for taking cacao beans and turning them into something that we have the pleasure of savoring, so let’s give them a round of applause.
Our family also enjoyed Chocolate Rose Fudge which was a Valentine’s Day special created by El Buen Cacao. Imagine a blend of hazelnut, chocolate, and rose combined to make a delectable fudge. The sugar crystals were small and barely detectable thus creating a smooth and divinely creamy texture. Talk about an edible work of art! And, by the way, it pairs wonderfully with champagne!
We also need to extend our gratitude to those in the import/export business, as they play a critical role in getting the beans from the farm to the chocolate maker. Importers like The Mexican Arabica Bean Company (MABCO) in Canada source beans from Vietnam, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru. Thanks to the work of importers, cacao beans from all over the world are accessible to us and chocolate makers, so don’t forget to thank them as well!
I know there are many individuals involved in each step in the process, so I want to thank all of you in the cacao/chocolate industry. Please know that your labor is never is never in vain. In fact, my family sends our love and heartfelt gratitude to you all.
Finca Dos Vistas: https://www.facebook.com/finca.dosvistas
El Buen Cacao: https://elbuencacao.co/
The Mexican Arabica Bean Company: https://www.mabco.ca/