But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.
-Charles M. Schulz
Even though we had a lesson on how chocolate goes from the tree to a bar, it was fun to go to Belmont Estates and see the process in person. Belmont Estates is located in the historic parish of St. Patrick on the north east side of the island. It is 300 years old, set on 400 acres of lush rolling hills and offers tours of their cocoa making facilities, animal farm, museum and a restaurant.
We were greeted by this beautiful Grenadian hostess at the plantation restaurant for lunch
View of the open air restaurant and sea beyond
A sample of chocolate tea as we wait for our tour to start.
African Violet tree
Olivia rings the historic bell
A painting illustrating the cocoa and nutmeg trees
Listening to Lauren tell us about the fermentation process.
Looking at the fermenting beans under the wooden slats
Drying cocoa beans
Beans drying inside the greenhouse
Mace drying in the sun after it has been removed from the outside of the nutmeg shell
Walking around the plantation
Beautiful orchids growing all over the plantation
I'm not sure what these are called but they are pretty cool looking palm trees
"Polly want a cracker? Hello? Pretty bird!"
Don't be deceived by the friendly looking nature of this monkey. He'll lure you in with his gentle touch and then when you least expect it, he snatches your hair, sunglasses or braids!!
"YO, you talkin' to me?"
So, we went to see the more benign turtles instead
Olivia thinks it's the funniest thing ever
The sun setting as we make our way back to St. George