Belizing Adventures

Belize Chocolate Fest 2018

By Angela Wu 5/23/2018 3 minutes


CHOCOLATE! Who doesn’t love chocolate? The Belizing Team loves chocolate so much, that we set out for this year’s Chocolate Festival in Punta Gorda. Bright and early on Saturday morning we headed out to the Taste of Toledo Street Fair. The fair was about a two-minute walk from Charlton’s Inn at Front Street. Walking through the fair, we noticed that some stalls were empty – they were yet to be set up. I guess we were too early for the party.

Companies and organizations like Digicell, Naledo Belize Truly Tumeric, COCOLOVE, IXCACAO Maya Belizean Chocolate, Belize Tourism Board, and other local Maya artisans had already set up their stalls. Even though the festival wasn’t in full blast as yet, there was still a crowd at the fair walking through and exploring what was being offered.


Here, Derrick and I got the opportunity to taste the cacao fruit. It was the first time that Derrick and I tasted the raw cacao fruit – and it was mouthwatering! Mr. Juan from IXCACAO Maya Belizean Chocolate gave us the pod that he cracked opened. Similarly to a guaya/kinep, as explained in a previous blog, Fruits of Belize, the beans are covered with a layer of thick, white pulp that is tangy and sweet with a subtle floral flavor. It was simply delicious.


It was bright and sunny – perfect for exploring what the street fair has to offer. After all, what better way to burn those extra calories after eating all those free samples of chocolate?

Filled with amazing local entrepreneurs and companies, upbeat music and lively entertainment, the festival was one of it’s kind that must be witnessed in person.

The Garifuna and Maya culture shined throughout the festival from the live presentations, dances and singing, to the colorful Maya art that were in display.
 
Everyone was enjoying the traditional Garifuna drumming and singing. Each beat of the drum moved everyone to nodding their heads or dancing in front of the stage. Everyone gathered close to the stage to enjoy the cultural presentations.

In the evening we continued our chocolate saga at the Chocolate and Wine Event that featured a unique selection of wines, chocolates, foods and live music. The Pandemonium Steel Band kept the crowd dancing and enjoying the festivities all through the night.

This event was surely a highlight for the Belizing Team! We got to experience a fusion of the Garifuna and Maya Culture and taste some delightful local chocolates, dishes and international wines all in one day! If you missed out on this year’s Chocolate Festival, make sure that you put the 2019 Chocolate Festival on your bucketlist and go Belizing!

Learn More
Events
The Belize Chocolate Festival Started in 2007 by a group of local cacao farmers and chocolate manufacturers, the Belize Chocolate Festival, or the Toledo Cacao Festival, in Southern ... moreBelize celebrates the Maya culture through traditional Maya Chocolate along with other chocolate-related products from local farmers and manufacturers. Belize’s Toledo District is world-renowned for having some of the finest quality cocoa in the international market.

The Belize Chocolate Festival was conceptualized for local cacao farmers and chocolate manufacturing businesses to showcase their premium cacao, cacao-products, chocolates and chocolate drinks. Since then, this Chocolate Festival has become popular to locals and travelers. Many would travel far and wide to be able to experience all things chocolate on this three-day event.

Along with consuming indulgent chocolate and chocolate products, this festival is also a great opportunity for visitors to learn about the Maya Culture through cultural presentations, dancing lessons, and traditional Maya chocolate-making demonstrations.
The 2019 Belize Chocolate Festival The 2019 Belize Chocolate Festival is scheduled for May 24 to May 26, 2019. First night is the Wine and Chocolate tasting at Garbutts Marine & Fishing Lodge. May 25, 2019 is the Taste of Toledo Stree Fair at Front Street. The last day on May 26 is the grand finale at Nim Li Punit Archaeological Site.
Why should you attend the 2019 Cacao Festival in Belize? The entire weekend will be filled with activities and entertainment. Each year the Chocolate Festival is filled with fun activities, cultural presentations and, of course, CHOCOLATE! Many travel to Punta Gorda to enjoy Chocolate Fest's educational and indulgent three-day event that features locally-produced cacao, chocolate products and chocolate-inspired dishes for a bargain.
Entrance Fee:
Free! (some events are tickets)
Venue:
Punta Gorda Town
Address:
Punta Gorda Town, Toledo, Belize
Start Date:
Sunday, 24 May, 2020Annually
District:
Toledo
Tours/Activities
$
55
-
$
110
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
The Chocolate Making Sessions at a living Mayan Museum offers you the BEST of Real Mayan Culture and its authenticity. Experience the traditional Mayan way of making chocolate from ... morebean to bar. Cacao Beans are grown by local farmers in Maya Center Village and is certified Organic.

Take a short walk to the cacao farm to learn about how cacao trees are cultivated. The trained farmer will give you a detailed explanation and process of how the beans are extracted from the pods and then fermented and finally dried and ready to be processed into chocolate. You will roast your own cacao beans on the clay griddle, just like how the Mayans did.

Making chocolate on the Mayan grinding stone is a lot of fun! The cacao beans being ground on the grinding stone gets magical as you witness your chocolate beginning to unfold. What is more exciting is that you get to eat your own chocolate! The tour is very educational and hands on. You have got to do it.
$
75
-
$
140
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
Spice Farm and Botanical Garden Tour The Belize Spice Farm & Botanical Gardens, located at the foothills of the Maya Mountain in the Toledo District is the result of the inspiration ... moreand hard work of Tom and Tessy Mathew.

When vacationing in Belize, the Mathews, originally from Kerala, India, were struck by the fact that the climate and topography of Belize are quite similar to that of Kerala, which is known for its world famous spices, such as Tellicherry Black Pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

So in 1990, they started the Golden Stream Plantation in the Toledo district of Belize to grow cacao and citrus. With the aid of the Belizian Government, they imported seeds and cuttings of spice plants native to their homeland.

The farm is now one of the largest black pepper and vanilla farms in the country and is adorned with beautiful teak, mahogany, rosewood, and sandalwood trees, as well as a variety of other magnificent specimens.

You will never look at your spice rack in the same way again! This tour is perfect for food lovers.
$
55
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Provider:
CACAO FARM & CHOCOLATE MAKING TOUR Chocolate is not only said to be an aphrodisiac but also has many healthy properties in its purest organic form - the cacao bean. This bean was ... morevalued so much by the ancient Mayan people of the region that it was actually used as currency. Modern-day studies have shown the cacao bean to be nature’s most powerful antioxidant. Cacao is a shade-grown tree which traditionally grows in the tropical rainforest. Here we visit a traditional Mayan cacao farm and see chocolate making in its original form, using the raw cacao bean, with the Mayan family who owns and operates several cacao farms in the country.

Eladio Pop, the farm owner, has an amazing knowledge of the symbiotic relationship of creatures and plants and is regarded as a local legend for companion planting and organic farming. The Eladio Pop family has teamed up with Sparrows Gate Mission bringing traditional chocolate-making demonstrations to the Cayo District. This partnership seeks to protect and promote the Mayan way of life as shown in the full-length documentary, The Chocolate Farmer, featuring Mr. Eladio Pop. After your farm tour and chocolate- making a demonstration, indulge in real organic chocolate creations including the traditional Mayan chocolate drink, enjoyed by only the elite Mayans of the ancient times.
$
125
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
Provider:
Belize Maya Cultural Tours This Belize Maya Cultural tour allows participants to learn more about the people who built the legendary cities of Xunantunich, Tikal, Lamanai, Caracol, ... moreand Altun Ha that still tower over the Belizean landscape today.

Participants will travel to a traditional Maya village in southern Belize to meet the descendants of the ancient Maya. Participants will learn about Maya life, including making medicinal compounds from plants found in the jungle, food, musical instruments, textiles, and furniture.

Participants will then be instructed on how to prepare a traditional Maya meal, including grinding corn for making tortillas and tamales. A full lunch of traditional Maya food will be served, including hot chocolate made from beans grown in the village.

Other activities include learning how to weave baskets and bags from local reeds as well as hammocks. Participants will also learn how the Maya make musical instruments from bamboo.
$
120
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
Provider:
Belize Mayan Chocolate Tour You’ve probably enjoyed tasty chocolate treats your whole life without ever knowing where it came from. This tour is perfect for chocolate lovers ... moreas you’ll get to learn about the traditional Maya method of making chocolate, starting with the cocoa bean and continuing all the way to the finished chocolate bar.

This tour starts with learning how cocoa beans are extracted from the pods, fermented, dried, and then prepared for making chocolate. Participants will then be able to eat and enjoy their creations.

Note: All chocolate is grown by local farmers and is certified organic.

Angela Wu

1 reviews   0 comments
Great and informative article, thank you. :D
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