|Dried cocoa beans|
Yesterday I went with friends to a Cocoa Workshop at Cocoa Valley Chocolate Shop what is part of Cocoa Valley Resort in Pua. The workshop group were 3 Thai people from Bangkok, my friend with his Thai wife and their son and of course me. So a small group of only 7 people. Our host, who speaks besides of course Thai also speaks very well English, welcomed us at the lobby of Cocoa Valley Resort and from there we went first to the Cocoa research farm. This is located in a small village just outside Pua town. Here is 4 rai of land with full grown cocoa trees and the nursing of small cocoa trees for the other plantations in Bo Klua & Huai Kon. Here we were explained about the growing and harvesting of the cocoa beans that are growing in a big yellow kind of fruit. After strolling around in the cocoa tree yard we did return back to Cocoa Valley Resort to go to the demonstration room. Here we were explained about how transform cocoa beans to pure chocolate (what is actually not pure but 70%). After explanation we could make our own chocolate bar, what is not so difficult and fun to do. As that chocolate bar has to cool down for 20min in the fridge we did have a choco at Cocoa Valley Cafe where you not only can drink a delicious choco but also all kinds of choco cakes and deserts.
I did learn that producing chocolate needs a lot of experience, knowledge and is labour intensive. And that there are many ways of producing chocolate depending on the kind of soil, the weather and the altitude. Another welcoming thing of this cocoa plantations is that Cocoa Valley Resort tries to support local farmers in the mountains. So they do not need to keep on planting corn (what is a very unsustainable way of farming). Having trees instead of corn is a ecological improvement for the mountains and with that for the people of Nan. The farmers are also guaranteed a min. price for the cocoa fruits, so they are secured of an income. Hopefully more projects like this will follow and hopefully slowly the mountains of Doi Phu Kha will become real green again. I highly recommended this workshop when you are in Pua and it is perfect for children also!!
Workshop information :
- Price 350 Thai baht per person
- Start at 9:30 or 13:00
- End about 12:00
- Min 2 persons, maximum 10 persons
- Booking via Cocoa Valley Resort
- Language : Thai or English
- Program : Visit cocoa plantation and explanation how cocoa beans are grown, workshop with explanation how chocolate is made and make your own chocolate bar. Incl. transportation to plantation a few km outside Pua town.
- For private groups contact Cocoa Valley Resort
|Cocoa fruit growing in the trees in Pua|
|Cutting a cocoa fruit|
|A cocoa fruit cut in 2 and showing the beans|
|Close-up of a cut cocoa fruit|
|Massaging the chocolate paste the workshop|
|Explanation about making your own chocolate bar|
|Making your own chocolate bar|
|Our own chocolate bars|