cocoa infused rum
Food

Cocoa-Infused White Rum

When we visited KokoMana, an agri-forestry operation in Savusavu that makes artisinal chocolate, we brought back a bag of cocoa nibs to use for a home-brewed stout. A few days ago, hubby placed most of the nibs package in a cloth bag that Fijians use to hold kava powder when mixing with water. He soaked… Continue reading Cocoa-Infused White Rum

Vanua Chocolate sampler
Food

New Fruit-Infused Vanua Chocolate Sampler

Vanua Chocolate is a chocolatier based in Fiji that sources it's cacao from local farms. The company is releasing a new product: a chocolate sampler with fruit infusions. It makes for a lovely little gift for yourself or others. The chocolatier does not use emulsifiers. This artisinal product is elegant in the simplicity of it's… Continue reading New Fruit-Infused Vanua Chocolate Sampler

KokoMana
Adventure, Food, photography

KokoMana: Artisinal Chocolate and Agri-Forestry

Farm supervisor Joeli and senior cocoa grower Richard start the tour with an introduction in the shop.A praying-mantis-looking insect inside the shop's small conservatory.Pupae on a plant in the conservatory that will transform into butterflies.Preparing chocolate for packaging in the temperature-controlled kitchen.A flower from a cocoa tree.Cocoa trees.Vanilla beans.Kava.Roro (taro).Cocoa fruit.Joeli opens cocoa fruit to… Continue reading KokoMana: Artisinal Chocolate and Agri-Forestry

Vanua Chocolate Fiji
Adventure, Food

Fiji’s Artisinal Vanua Chocolate

Vanua Chocolate is a sister company of Cacao Fiji, and it's recently expanded its distribution to Extra Supermarket in Suva. It makes small-batch, artisinal chocolate. We wanted to support support these local businesses, so we picked up a couple bars of dark chocolate from Extra. Dark chocolate is known for its health benefits. It's high… Continue reading Fiji’s Artisinal Vanua Chocolate

fermenting cocoa beans
Food

How to Make Chocolate Powder from Cocoa Fruit

We visited Cacao Fiji's cocoa farm in Dreketi on the island of Vanua Levu in October 2019. I learned a lot, and our guide generously gave us a few cocoa pods to take home. This was the start of a fun experiment: making raw cocoa powder. It's a time-intensive process: It takes about two weeks.… Continue reading How to Make Chocolate Powder from Cocoa Fruit