Although Cacao Art Chocolates is based in Miami, our chocolate enterprise dreams started in Caracas. More specifically, they started at the little workshop we had at the back of my parent’s house with an entrance by the garden.
Now, there are many issues with Caracas today, issues I will not go into. Yet, my parent’s garden remains the most luscious, green, relaxing place that I know. When I was little, it was just a great expanse with lots of trees and flowers on a gentle downwards slope. We all enjoyed going down to the end and just feeling away from the city. Then, about 15 years ago, my mother had it professionally landscaped. From the wild and slightly unkept look of the garden before, we now have a little pond and stone steps leading down to a Secret Garden-type entrance and a lovely bird fountain. There is a rose patch on one side and, right at the very back, a slew of different fruit trees. There are mangos and plantains and limes, and some fruits so tropical I don’t even know their names in English (e.g. mamón, a small fruit in a hard green shell, and níspero, a bigger round fruit with a white sweet interior). It really is just beautiful and we can’t help but miss it now that we’re away.
But, bringing the topic back to chocolate (as usual), the last time I was strolling around the garden I found that the one cacao plant that grows in the back had given fruit! The pods are still somewhat underripe, but they look great and were a such a surprise! Maybe it is a sign we should try for our own bean-to-bar grand cru chocolate?