The chocolate world
The chocolate world is a blend of sweetness and bitterness. The beautiful and silent humans are the greatest contributors to making the chocolate world sweeter. I have tasted all kinds of chocolate in every corner of this magnificent world. Whether intense dark, single-origin or not, chocolate milk or white, it stimulated me in every aspect possible from head to toe. Every bite I have awakens a different sensation and a profound curiosity to learn more about it. The fascination I carry for the world of chocolate is boundless. So, I decided that it was my turn to reinvent the whole chocolate experience. With full determination, I travelled to the lands of origins to meet that cocoa tree and get to know the silent humans behind this sublimity.
The silent humans
My first stop was in Venezuela. Blessed to be there, I went on an intensive tour around the cacao plantations. Being there, gave me the chills of excitement. So, that's it, I was finally going to meet the Theobroma. I was overwhelmed to see all these beautiful trees. Above all, what impressed me was the delicacy and the constant alert of the farmers when cutting off the pods from the trees with a machete.
Amazing how they handled the cocoa beans from harvesting, drying to packing in sacks and packs. So, I had to stop and take a closer look, first to understand the entire process and second to connect with the farmers and the labourers. I could see the hard work, it was indeed an exhaustive toil.
What kept them going all these years? I approached a smiley labourer hoping he'd give me a comprehensive answer. José, that was his name. He told me that although their job is weary, they were confident that this rough cacao bean would soon be transformed into the richest and most decadent chocolate anyone could ever taste. José wished the world could understand the magical journey of this cocoa bean. He would have wanted to engage people in this authentic and mystical experience.
Also, he did the same thing every day, but he still counted his blessings. He fed his family from this plantation and lived half of his life surrounded by these alluring Theobroma. It felt like home. After 35 years in cocoa cultivation, he is hoping he'd be able to pass on this passion to his children.
The bitter world yet a source of happiness
José made my day. I knew that many share the same passion and believe in the same philosophy. So, yes, chocolate is a source of happiness, furthermore, it is a source of life.
People like José add melodiousness to chocolate. That it is to say, if it weren't for their delicate hand, hard work, and passion the cocoa bean that we receive in our shops wouldn't have been so flawless. Because of them, the chocolate world is sweeter.
Continuously, upon receipt of this cocoa bean, chocolate makers treat it with as much care and love to turn it into the sumptuous and luscious chocolate we desire. Moreover, walking around the plantation and being with the hardworking men and women was heart-warming. However, I kept thinking of José's words and realized that despite the bitter fact we know about the chocolate industry, the love for chocolate was unbeatable. Actually, farmers are struggling to meet the increased demand for chocolate so they fall back to child labour and trafficking. Children are forced into working in cocoa plantations and perform dangerous acts like cutting the pods with a sharp machete, spraying chemicals without gears, or sleeping and living in horrible conditions. They endure the hardships to get paid very little amounts. How can chocolate be so sweet in such cruelty?
That day I vowed to unfold the story of the beautiful people who took care of this cocoa bean from the very beginning of its journey. With every bite, Sunday in Scotland unravels a wonder.
We owe the pleasure of this sweetness to José and his fellows. We cherish their sublime work and their care to provide us with a refined cocoa bean for delicious chocolate. From our deep belief in human rights, equality, and fair trade, we celebrate all the beautiful humans who contributed to making Sunday in Scotland chocolate so exquisite and decadent.
AMER WAHOUD | FOUNDER
SUNDAY IN SCOTLAND JOURNAL