Discovering the Cocoa Andino (Bogote Grenada)

July 7, 2010

Departing from Venice with 2 mega luggage charges , in addition to the stuff of dressing, 30 kg of chocolate to taste from the Colombian friends . I stopped at customs and kidnap me for no reason 5 kg of chocolate ... chocolate being very good , perhaps there is a reason ... ;)

July 8, 2010

After a very long flight in which I met with Philip, our secretary, arrived in Bogota, and now we take a flight to Bucaramanga where we meet with Juan Carlos of Fedecacao . We arrive at the small airport in Bucaramanga where we expect a certain Ramon with a small jeep ... but we 'll all ? Appropriate question .
We are 5/2 bulls in a small jeep , charge over us in our suitcases. We are told that there will be only 2 hours of road , which become 4 on a road full of potholes that even Indiana Jones would have had the courage to do it.

July 9, 2010

After a night in a hotel in San Vicente Chucuri and after a breakfast of meat " hasada " eggs, and chocolate de mesa , I Fillippo Pinelli , Silvio Bessone , Domenico Juan Carlos Fire and finally until we start to visit the cocoa .
We visit all 3 , and unfortunately all and how many with a good presence of CCN51 . In addition to this we immediately notice how the conditions for the maintenance of the plants are at the limit : the cocoa pods are opened and left in the field , many plants are sick , sick people and the fruits of phitoptora or Moniglia . In the evening we start to return , another 4 hours under the scorching sun . But the road to the unexpected happens to us , and we visit a sugar Artisan : a unique thing .

July 10

We returned to Bogota where there is " chocoandino " , the main reason that drove us in south America. After some misunderstanding between the group for the strong personality of the individual , we think of give us a relaxing day in the pool of the Club Militar , where aloggiamo and where they take place the event. there we meet immediately with Martina , Lorenzo , Gustavo , Franca and Naomi , and something makes me understand that we will not have much relaxation . Bails Philip, " Silvio Mirco and , since we were not able to mount the dryer on time because was stopped in customs , we will need you went to mount you. " Yes, sir, we respond ( but wow 4 tanks in style Mirco Della Vecchia me I would be done willingly ) .
Let's start with me and Silvio . A 4 hour trip to Grenada aboard a pick-up, where the guide there must have been a close relative of Montoya , a kind of rally that makes us jump gasp at every turn , so that Silvio (which for instance is a bit more old joke ... ) require the sample to slow down a bit because keep the family in Italy , the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and perhaps there would be dispersed in the Andes.
However we get there. Scorcher from 40 ° shade : 5 hours of hard work and the dryer is mounted , nice but a bit battered by the travel Italy - Colombia.

July 11

Preparations begin . We visit " Artengel " , the place where we will hold workshops capacitation ; while the boys prepare IILA folders printing, we are going to take the other airport of Fine Chocolate Organization : here they are all safe and sound , and as happens after a 10 hour flight ... tired!

July 12


the festival " Chocoandino " the event organized by IILA and FEDECACAO , the Federation of Colombian campesinos . We will be in room 300 , all with headphones for translation. Took the floor Omar Pinchon ( President of Fedecacao ) that strongly thanks all , and reaffirms its willingness by Colombia to increase the quality of its cocoa, to contain the spread of CCN51 , and especially to increase exports to Italy . Gustavo Arteta speak , and many others, and then it's up to me as President of the Association of Fine Chocolarte Organization chocolatiers more largest in Italy.
To start than talking in Spanish, but when I start to get into the technical apologize and go in Italian . Vehemently reproach because Fedecacao Colombia has the excellent national cocoa , such as SFV41 or ICS60 , plants very productive and qualitative , but you continue to plant CCN5 ; rebuke them because have to speak of cocoa flavor , but mix the good with the bad , and in this way it becomes all bad.

July 13

Get in on the event, and depart the seminar on the cultivation of cocoa, the physiology of plants , and especially the laboratory part of us that we keep cioccolatieria of Fine Chocolate , to teach the art of chocolate Colombian High Quality and his artistic work . It ' a success : more 50 members, highly motivated and attentive , asking questions to burst .
We take turns , I, Silvio and Maximilian in the morning, and " Modica " the afternoon ; and gradually all the members of the "Finish" , all admirably guided by the voice of Monica Moschini .
We treat of chocolate tempering , so as praline , techniques and industrial chocolate of Modica in short we do assert !

July 14


courses and conferences; I hold a discussion on the 5 techniques of tempering chocolate , and illustrate the pros and cons of tempering that there in the laboratory . But the most fascinating is definitely one held by Andrew, Pierpaolo , John and Tony, who talk about their Modica : a fascinating story that, even if does not have much to teach about chocolate , definitely has a lot to say about a culture.

July 15

jobs are coming to term , and all the seminars were interesting . In particular I was struck by a seminar that explained rationally insolation and the effect of irrigation on the plants of cocoa. But how can we forget the lessons of Nubia Martinez or those of Rhojas , a technical manager of Fedecacao , a fabulous person competent and who taught us point by point to the importance of fermentation and the drying ?
The work ends early because in the evening we must prepare for the usual " chococoktail ," a mundane event where all the companies you are doing taste their products , and among those who eat a free ride and those who make relevant questions, in less than half an hour the tables of chocolate have been swept away , so that the arrival of the Italian I were only 2 coffee creams for him to taste .
A glass more and the whole group socializes : you can not make who is in and who Fedecacao of Fine Chocolate ; the Work begins to merge with a healthy friendship , so much so that the wife of Rojhas tells me that the next time I go back to Colombia I can go to sleep on them, tells me I am like a son to them, obviously strong words that excite me .

July 16

whole group we leave at dawn to return to Granada, where I and Silvio we mounted the dryer ; an endless journey in which someone who has eaten heavy blurts out some fart too.
But we laugh and have fun like crazy , especially when we stop to have breakfast.
8.00 am : breakfast of consomme fish , arepa , and fruit. Steps for arepa and for the fruit, but the fish in the morning I really find it hard to keep it.
We arrive on site and we are divided into 6 groups ; while one sees the explanation of the dryer , others see as the cocoa trees are grafted ; when one sees how irrigates the plant, the others follow Nubia that explains the various clones Experimental .
We end up in a aquazzone dirty mud up to his neck , but still happy .

July 17

It 'time to say goodbye. Many leave for Italy , and he who abides advantage finally to visit a little the city Bogota.

Translated with Google Translate