THE upcoming chocolate tours in Port of Spain will combine chocolate tourism, books and dreams and chocolate.
Conceived by the Alliance of Rural Communities Trinidad and Tobago (ARCTT), the alliance has partnered with the Bocas Lit Fest to educate the population on cocoa and chocolate through these chocolate walking tours on April 26 and 27.
The event really is about books and chocolate, rum and chocolate and dreams and chocolate.
The ARCTT’s founder and co-director Gillian Goddard said they have been engaging in chocolate tourism in rural communities for quite some time but for the first time they started doing tours in Port of Spain during this year’s Carnival, conducting six of them during the season.
Other than those tours, the ARCTT has a presence every other Saturday at the Namdevco farmer’s market at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Goddard said the Port of Spain walks were so successful that they have decided to do it again during the NGC Bocas Lit Fest that runs from April 25-29. The walking tours are expected to start at the Nalis on Abercromby Street, home of the Bocas Lit Fest, where Bocas patrons will participate in a guided chocolate tasting and then go through historic documents on cocoa and the chocolate industry in the Heritage Library to comprehend the complex history of cocoa in TT.
Afterwards they will walk up to the National Museum, Upper Frederick Street, to view cocoa artefacts. From there, participants may make a stop at Xtatik Studios on Gordon Street where they will be given the story of how Machel Montano developed a branded chocolate bar, then to a nearby local chocolate café Cocoa Pod at 23 Gordon Street, where they will be shown a German-based music video of Trinidad chocolate, while sampling cocoa-based goodies. After this, participants will walk back to Nalis.
The tours expose participants to local, fine-flavoured chocolate from various estates and aid understanding, mentally and with taste buds, of how terroir, genetics, and social justice define what chocolate is all about.
Goddard stressed though, this itinerary is subject to change depending on the weather or other things that may come up. Throughout the walk participants are told of the techniques of chocolate making, and are also told the story of cocoa from pre-colonial days to the present. Pre-registration is required.