Mahogany Chocolate Company

Made in Belize 

Recently, Belize has been building a reputation for its chocolate production.  It makes sense since it was the ancient Maya who first discovered the cacao plant.  At first, they used it as a stimulating drink and considered it the nectar of the gods.  Later, it was even used as currency. It became a sensation in Europe when explorers introduced chocolate to the old world. 


Where in Belize? 

Today raw organic beans are processed into authentic gourmet chocolate bon bons, pralines, drinking chocolate powder, truffles and bars.  There are five authentic handmade varieties available.  Mahogany Chocolate Company 5 star gourmet kitchen is located in Mahogany Bay Village, a Hilton Curio Collection branded resort hotel on Ambergris Caye. 

Cacao Farms 

Chocolatier Luis Armando Choco divides his time between Ambergris Caye and the Toledo District in Southern Belize. This is where the Farms are.  He speaks to farmers who are key to the quality of the cacao bean. Mr. Choco speaks to farmers, carefully selects the best beans and monitors the process from harvesting to fermentation and drying.  This ensures that every batch will result in only a premium quality chocolate product. One hundred and fifty participating farmers harvest ripe pods from the Cacao trees and carefully extract the beans from the pod. Within six hours of harvesting, the beans are picked up by Mahogany’s bean buying Central Processing plant team in Crique Jute Village. Of course, there are strict protocols and responsible farming practices that must be adhered to.  

The Factory 

After a painstaking process of fermentation and drying, a team of women sorts the beans by hand and the shells are separated from the nibs check for foreign objects or mildew.  Only the best beans are sealed in 50-kilo bags destined for the chocolate factory.  At the factory, beans are re-checked.  Since each bean is different, new beans are roasted in small batches to determine the best temperature and length of time necessary to provide the best result. Roasting not only sanitizes the beans but develop their robust flavor. Furthermore, the beans must then be cracked, and the shells are separated from the nibs. Special fans blow and separate the nibs which will then be ground. 

Refining Process 

A huge machine with a large funnel called a hopper is filled with roasted nibs and produces a coarse liquor the consistency of chunky peanut butter.  A huge 25-ton press separates cocoa butter from cocoa solids, also known as cocoa powder. The press holds the liquor and presses out the fat known as cocoa butter. There is a giant mixer (the melanger) in which the sugar and flavors are blended. Continual mixing and heated converts the mixture into chocolate after 24 hours. After a further process of heating and cooling which gives chocolate its smooth, pleasant in the mouth texture. Finally, it has just the right consistency for shaping into molds. The chocolate is now ready for packaging. 

Mahogany Chocolate

Written by Nelita Castillo

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