As snow blankets New Mexico this January both Derek and I have each returned to Hawaii for a week and also attended the 10th anniversary FCIA conference in San Francisco. At this conference industry leaders share ideas, learn about advances in equipment and honor farms throughout the world that are dedicated to producing fine flavor cacao. Our neighbor farm in Maui had about 600 lbs of cacao ready to harvest when I arrived so we decided to take the pods and start a ferment of the beans. Friends joined in to help crack the pods and extract the juicy pulp ladened beans.
The ferment which takes about 7 days was completed at the Maui Tropical Algae farm and is now sun drying. In a about 3 weeks we will ship the beans to Santa Fe to our facility and turn them into chocolate. Stay tuned for one of the first Maui grown chocolate bars.