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Chocolate Education: Changing the Way We Think About Chocolate

Many Americans see chocolate as a kind of candy, unlike other specialty foods, like craft beer, fine wine and specialty coffee (agricultural products seen as having fine flavor) But, just as these products have both high and low quality offerings, chocolate too has a wide range of options, which include some that are really exceptional.

One of our missions is to help people to experience this taste for themselves. To this effect, I gave a TED talk titled Changing the Way We Think About Chocolate. As we head into the holiday season and into 2019 I’d like to go a bit more in depth into topics from my talk, and, to delve into all I have learned about growing and processing chocolate that is worth taking time to taste. I’m also going to talk about our farm honey which has been exceptional after our winter rains.

It’s all about the senses for us here at Lydgate Farms. Of course, our visual backdrop is stunning on the east side of Kauai between Nounou, the sleeping giant, and Makaleha mountain. Bright green cacao leaves and vanilla vines, whites and pinks of cacao flowers, bright reds and yellows of ripe cacao pods, it’s a visual feast! And tasting too is a true multi-sensory experience. Flavor=taste+smell+texture. It’s not just what you sense on your tongue, it’s what you experience in your nose and feel in your mouth. When you take the time to let a piece of chocolate melt mouth and enjoy the smell and flavor, you are in the present moment — not thinking about the past or the future, just present, enjoying life. Our goal is to grow chocolate bars that give you that gift. Savor is a word I have been thinking about a lot lately. To me, it means to take time and enjoy life. And I hope to offer the gift of savoring to all of you this holiday season.