Yesterday I told you about a day tour I took to see the Carib Territory on the northeast side of Dominica. Today I want to share the rest of that half day tour. You see on the way our tour guide took us to the coastal village of Calibishie, which seemed like a fantastic out of the way beach village with a black sand beach and cool little places to eat.
Just outside of Calibishie is the Pointe Baptiste Estate chocolate factory, which was delicious. ???? They explained how chocolate is made starting from a pod that has seeds in it. After they get the seeds from the pod, they soak them, dry them, roast them, grind them, and finally separate the chocolate (called nibs at this point) from the seed husk. All that work was to get the raw chocolate ready to use. After that they grind it with sugar and other ingredients for three days before finally melting it all down and pouring it into molds. As you walk into the air-conditioned room that the grinding, melting, and pouring take place you are over whelmed with the smell of chocolate……..and it was heaven.
The factory is way, way smaller than I expected it to be, but it was the very definition of a small, boutique industry that you look for when you visit tiny island nations. I ended up buy a mint chocolate bar and a ginger chocolate one, but they had hot pepper chocolate, lemongrass chocolate, and coffee chocolate to name just a few of the interesting flavors a small factory can try.
All of this is set in a beautiful garden area with colorful flowers and delicious fruit trees. In fact, the owners house is next door and you can rent it out. It is tastefully decorated and has a balcony over looking the Red Rocks, which is a point on the northeast corner of Dominica. Here all of a sudden, the lush rainforest gives way to red sandstone that came from a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. The sandstone is gently sloped towards the sea with rises here and there and gorges carved 20-30 feet down. It was so surreal of a location after stepping from a forested area onto the Red Rocks. You almost had a feeling of what the Mars surface looks like.