This year, it is certain we will spend our holidays on the chocolate island! Surrounded by cacao trees, we will relax, get fresh ideas on these greedy islands and take some rest one of their incredibly beautiful beaches. You don’t seem to believe us? Nevertheless these islands do exist!
Chocolate Island in Sao Tomé
The chocolate island is part of the archipelago of São Tomé and Principle in the Gulf of Guinea, where the Mediterranean, European and African influences mix with delight. In this archipelago still unknown, with wild beaches and luxuriant vegetation, an island named São Tomé has the very greedy nickname of Chocolate island.
The reason is quite simple there, the cocoa trees plantation is one of its main business, its cocoa beans having the reputation to be the finest to the world. Chocolate lovers will quickly understand our sudden desire to fly to this little paradise!
The cocoa tree is a small and surprising tree. It is native of Mexico, Venezuela and Ecuador. It has the nickname of “food of the Gods”. It is an undergrowth tree, which needs heat and moisture, regular rainfall, deep, fertile and well drained soil, everything that the archipelago Sao Tome & Principe has.
A cocoa tree can provide up to 1000 kg of cocoa beans per hectare in its third or fourth year. It becomes and adult after 10 years and can live up to fifty years. In 2013, the Chocolate island and its archipelago produced more than 36,000 tons of cocoa, a world feat, which was worth its nickname!
Some Information Regarding Cocoa Farming
Real chocolate is made from cocoa paste, resulting from the grinding of cocoa beans, the fruit of the cacao tree. The scientific name of this little fruit, indeed it is a fruit, is “Theobroma cacao”. There are several types of cocoa trees, here are some of them:
The Criollo Cocoa Tree
This bean is considered as the most expensive and appreciated one. This cocoa tree produces very little fruits and remains a fragile tree to grow. If you ever have the privilege to taste a chocolate made from beans of the Criollo tree, you will discover its power, and its barely pronounced bitterness.
The Forastero Cocoa Tree
This cocoa tree is mainly cultivated in West Africa, Brazil and Ecuador. Because it is early and more resistant to disease, it provides 75% of world production. A single tree can produce up to 6 kg of cocoa per year.
The Trinitario Cocoa Tree
This cocoa tree is a hybrid of the previous two trees. It provides 20% of the world production and is generally cultivated where once stood the Criollo trees.
The cocoa tree is a small and unusual tree despite its fragility ; it has the incredible and irreplaceable capacity of offering many chocolate treats that we appreciate so much. Eventually, we do never get tired of talking about it, its delicious fruit and chocolate we love.
It is now time for us to go back under our cocoa tree, and enjoy this exotic moment. We wish you a great summer and will meet us from 26th August at our chocolate shop reopening.