DO NOT mention Snickers, KitKat or even Reece’s Peanut Butter cups around award winning chocolate maker Henrik Bodholdt. He’s too dignified to openly sneer at these confections, but its clear that he does NOT consider them to be “Chocolate.” And it turns out, he’s right.
Chocolate, real gourmet chocolate, is the result of a time-intensive, hands-on process perfected in MesoAmerica almost 4,000 years ago. Ancient Aztec rulers spread the hilariously selfish rumor among their people that the rich, delicious drink laboriously made from jungle fruit was poisonous to women and children, thus... leaving plenty for the dudes. Genius.
In the 1600’s, those same Aztec bros bribed the Conquistadors with chocolate in an effort to get them outta town before they looted their empire...though that didn’t work out quite so genius-y.
So, the Spanish brought the the dark, creamy treat back to the Old World - fast forward to every Halloween you’ve ever had. Chocolate everywhere, yet you never see kids dressed as Aztec kings. Who knew?
Henrik did. And he explains it all to you during the hands-on, hour-long “Chocolate Making Experience” he offers poolside at the opulent Four Seasons Costa Rica.
Everything at this resort paradise, located on its own peninsula carved out of the jungle in Papagayo, reveals and reflects the authentic culture, flavors and vistas of this tropical bucket-list destination.
When we weren’t busy boating, paddle-boarding, scuba diving or slurping up delicious rum cocktails made famous in Costa Rica, we simply lounged at the pool with views of BOTH the Pacific Ocean and the idyllic Gulf of Papagayo. Until Henrik showed up with his gourds, fruit boards and utensils.
Henrik explained that real chocolate comes from cacao, which is a gourd-looking fruit that grows wild in Costa Rica. For centuries, the locals have been using a special, low-tech process to turn these bitter, gooey globs of seeds and snot, into amazingly delicious, rich and decadent chocolate. That’s all Yeni needed to hear.
Here then is your very own crash course in “How a Cacao becomes a Chocolate.” Enjoy!