All you need is… Chocolate!

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White-faced Capuchin, Costa Rica (c) Andrew Gray

Of the four species of monkey that live in Costa Rica the White-faced Capuchin is the only one that is omnivorous, eating many things ranging from flowers to lizards. Mainly they like to eat fruits and seeds, and are particularly fond of cacao seeds, the basic material in the making of chocolate.

Fifty years ago, cacao plantations dominated the lowlands of Costa Rica. By 1984, chocolate trees still grew on more than 19,000 hectares of Costa Rican land, but around that same time the deadly monilia fungus arrived, killing off 80 percent of the country’s cacao plants. Most of the trees were uprooted and replaced with more profitable pineapple and palm oil farms. However, it seems Costa Rican cacao production is again on the rise … to meet the world’s increasing sweet taste for Chocolate.

291cc2b9acf2361d0e4776f5ee0c4088This month sees  Puerto Viejo’s Chocolate Festival 2016 come into full swing, and what better place in Costa Rica to have this event. If you are interested in wildlife, food, beach life, or just chilling and eating chocolate, this place a fabulous place to visit. We take our students to this area every year during our field course and they get to see how cacao is organically grown and chocolate is made first hand. They also get the opportunity to sample it on many occasions! One place we eat at is Bread & Chocolate, a super cafe I have been visiting for many years and can highly recommend for a fantastic breakfast or lunch.

Bread & Chocolate

Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festival

13501548_241146962935964_9121610611448663288_nIn Costa Rica or not, a big chocolate fan, or know someone that is, chocolate always goes down well on the menu!

This Costa Rican lime-drizzled chocolate and coconut cake, inspired directly by my daughter visiting Puerto Viejo on the tropical Caribbean coast with me many years ago is bound to hit the spot. For the full recipe and easy making instructions why not check out:

OMG foodie uk

 

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