Jouvay Dreams by Aubri Wilson Cocoa pod, cocoa pod Low hanging in rain forest Rooted in volcanic soil On a gorgeous island home Among spices and fruits The flavors meld inside The pretty, pretty Cocoa bean, cocoa bean Purplish in white pulp Sweet as mango Soon to ferment and tan Under moving feet Later roasted, winnowed Conched and tempered To become the rich Bar of delightful Taste like the dawning Of a new and joyful day Jouvay, jouvay I'm dreaming Of a new and beautiful day
This week I had the privilege of touring a chocolate factory in Grenada, where Jouvay chocolate is made. We visited the island not just for my chocolate obsession, but the trip had plenty of chocolate at the beginning, middle and end. I’m not sure we bought enough…
Here are some photos from our tour outside the factory, where the cocoa pods grow. We got to taste the pulp around the beans, feel some fermented pods, and taste test chocolate of various percentages. I love it as dark as it can get and they had it! If you’re interested in the process of chocolate making, you can read about how they do it at Jouvay here, and much of this applies to other chocolate factories.
Several things about Jouvay impressed me. First, how the trees are grown with other spice and fruit bearing trees which I believe is the key to the unique flavor the bars have. My husband and I had never tasted any chocolate like it. And we couldn’t get enough of it on our trip. If you ever go, watch out because if you’re a chocolate lover this might be a bit dangerous! But I digress. The second thing I love about Jouvay is how the company is set up with the cocoa farmers being majority owners and manufacturers. They value fair trade, sustainability for the environment and stability for the cocoa farmers. Our tour guide was friendly and passionate about the process he showed us. They had a cafe for chocolate drinks and a shop of bars including some with nutmeg (the island is the second largest producer of it in the world), ginger and nibs. It was a dream.
This one experience and many others on the island make me smile when I think back to myself ten years ago as a college kid listening to my creative writing professor tell us to explore the world and travel to open our mind to new things to write about. Never did I ever think I’d visit a rain forest area and be looking at cocoa pods growing on a tree, or have my hair french braided on the beach by a Grenadian and come home with that new style and a pair of copper cocoa pod earrings!
Lately I’ve been enjoying the album Nation of Two by Vance Joy and particularly “Alone With Me” as with my husband I’ve been doing things I never thought we’d do, and I try to remember there’s no reason to put limits on myself as I’ve done far too often in life.