As a kid I worked harvesting cocoa a little bit. Tough work. You go through the jungle splitting open ripe pods as you find them, scooping the wet seeds (beans) into burlap sacks until they get a tiny bit too heavy to carry, then you haul them out on your back. It's usually about 34-35 Celcius with maximum humidity too.
The splitting and scooping is done with a short knife and it's a real art actually. Some of those guys split cocoa so fast you can barely see their hands moving.
Adjoined to our house was a special building called a cocoa house. The roof is on wheels. So you can roll it open when it's sunny and roll it shut when it's rainy. So after you haul the cocoa beans out of the bush you take them to the cocoa house and spill them out on the floor, spreading them evenly with a toothless rake. Then begins the process of drying and curing. Turning them several times per day with the rake and opening the cocoa house roof now and again the seeds become ready in a week or two, then it's back into sacks and off to market where the chocolate makers buy them.
I never eat chocolate. Not sure why, I don't really have anything against it or anything. I just never eat candy. There's a "master chocolatier" who lives here in Calgary, makes chocolate by hand. Supposed to be pretty good. Check it out: http://www.bernardcallebaut.com/user...?FolderID=4598
What an interesting story!!!
I love chocolate - don't go a whole day without i have some! I'll prob end up big as a house - I'll have to employ someone to bring me my chocolate!!!