Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The missing CHOCOLATE SECRET in Belize!


Chocolate makers throughout Belize have been struggling in private mostly, trying to figure out how to make a chocolate bar, or chocolate candy, that could sit on the shelf of a village grocery store without melting. Particularly during HOT MONTHS which are our summer in April and May.
My own chocolate experiments in Cayo West and a friend, also selling chocolates in Hillview ( we were contemplating going into partnership once and may yet again ) have tried different mixes and flavors and even had a visiting foreign chocolate expert visit to do taste tests. Down in the South of Belize they use Toledo Cacao Association cacao beans, but in Western Belize Cayo District, out here in Western Belize we use Guatemalan chocolate. It comes ready made in liquid form. Or a little heat and it becomes liquid. The foreign expert said the Guatemalan chocolate had too much lard, or grease or something in it. We never followed up on it, as around here in Cayo West we are still small scale kitchen based chocolate makers, for home use, or selling to school children.
Chocolate here tends to melt over 85 F. Or get soft and mushy. Yet I´ve observed some American candy bars, or chocolates have good shelf life, even in temperatures between 90 F and a 100 F. The Southern part of Belize apparently have four chocolate candy makers in a more advanced stage of chocolate manufacturing size, as to quantity and variety. They also have a source of the cacao beans close by. Out WESTERN BELIZE here, for us the transportation costs and distribution system are faster, easier and more reliable from across the border with Guatemala. Distance and transportation, with distributors selling stuff regularly are probably the critical things.
Still, even searching the internet, I´ve not yet figured out, and apparently from the emails and debate about chocolate making going on, nobody else has either. How do you raise the melting level of chocolate. If we were to export, how would we do it? If you were trying to supply every village grocery shop in Belize with chocolate, how would you raise the melting temperature of chocolate?


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