An update from the Partsioglou family: Christos, Maddy and Chocolatina in India!
Having been in the chocolate industry for 11 years now, we have extensive knowledge in all things cocoa, but we never stop learning! We are always eager to see first hand the places, people and processes behind cocoa production. We decided to embark on a trip to wonderful India, to further our knowledge and understanding of the beloved cocoa bean, while also sneaking in some meditation of course!
On our trip, we were fortunate enough to visit a cocoa plantation. The humble cocoa tree, where it all begins! As you can see, us Partsioglou’s were super enthusiastic! The cocoa pods grow directly off the trunk and those pretty little flowers will soon become the pods that make delicious chocolate! How exciting!
Once ripe, the cocoa pods are cut from the tree, broken open and the beans are removed. The beans are then fermented and dried, ready for the next stage of production!
We were lucky enough to try the pulp of the cocoa pod, even though it was out of season. The flesh was delicious and tasted like a sweet, sour mango. The flesh will become even sweeter as the pods continue to ripen. We wish we could have bought some back for everyone to try!
After all the learning and cocoa tasting, Maddy found Zen in the incredible Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves. The caves, which are located near the city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, hold great archaeological, historical and religious importance. They also made for the perfect place to reflect and meditate! “Ommmm”
And what’s a trip to India without seeing the Taj Mahal?
Chris manifested his wish to have more arms, to make more chocolates with! Would certainly prove helpful at Easter time. Not quite as powerful as the goddess Kali!
We were lucky enough to be exposed to some pretty amazing things thanks to Centurion University. In the rural areas of Odisha, a highlight of our trip was meeting students of a school, which had been set up for a remote town in the middle of a tribal area. As we toured the school, the students followed us around and when we asked for a photo, it was overwhelmingly exciting, laughter and joy for us all!