Chocolate has become one of the most popular flavors in the world. Chocolates for valentines, Christmas, and other holidays, you name it; chocolate is a favorite, and now in San Pedro, The Belize Chocolate Company is producing 100% Belizean Chocolate Bars named KAKAW.
[Linked Image]
Owners Jo and Chris Beaumont invited Ambergris Today to their business to give us a tour and explanation on how chocolate is locally made. The Belize Chocolate Company purchases local cocoa beans from different southern Belize farmers who provide them with organically grown and certified fair-trade fermented and dried beans from the fruit trees.

After the beans are brought to the island, Chris sorts out the beans, cleans and roasts them and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground and liquefied, resulting in pure chocolate in fluid form: chocolate liquor. The liquor can be further processed into two components: cocoa solids (powder) and cocoa butter.

Chocolate liquor is blended with the cocoa butter in varying quantities to make different types of chocolate. The basic blends of ingredients for Milk and Dark chocolate, are as follows:

*Dark chocolate: organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa liquor, and organic vanilla beans and soy lecithin. [This fine, plain dark chocolate contain at least 70% cocoa (both solids and butter)]

*Milk chocolate: Belizean cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa liquor, milk powder, organic vanilla and soy lecithin. [Milk chocolate usually contains up to 45%.]
[Linked Image]

Both the milk chocolate and dark chocolates are placed in mixers where the refined and blended chocolate mass is kept in a liquid state by frictional heat. Chocolate prior to conching has an uneven and gritty texture. The conching process produces cocoa and sugar particles smaller than the tongue can detect, hence the smooth feel in the mouth. The length of the conching process determines the final smoothness and quality of the chocolate. High-quality chocolate is conched for about 24 - 36hours.

Unlike most chocolate on sale in the world today, which is basically re-melted mass produced chocolate, the Belize Chocolate Factory produces their chocolate directly from beans grown organically on small family farms in southern Belize. Each farmer has a slightly different combination of cacao (Kakaw) trees, so the taste of the beans are a slight different, and this is what gives you that fantastic original flavor that is of KaKaw chocolate.
[Linked Image]
There can be over 600 different natural aromas hidden in a piece of chocolate. Kakaw bars are labeled with different colors since they can have slight different flavors such as citrus, berries, caramel, nuts etc. These ingredients are not added but are flavors brought out during cacao’s long transformation from bean to bar. To add a twist to these fine chocolates, the Belize Chocolate Company has a line of signature flavors to their 70% dark chocolate, like pineapple, crystallized ginger, chili, peanuts and cashews.

Kakaw Belizean Chocolate is sold at Wine De Vine and you can place your orders by calling Jo and Chris at 610-4828 or 620-5769.