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Saturday, March 23, 2019

2. Fermentation

The pods are picked, and now is time for beans to turn alive.  Hundreds - thousands, even - of the precious pods are laid out in the sun, and microbial yeasts develop and devour some of the compounds.  Yes, my funny little microbes: eat!  Complex flavors are starting to develop.  Notes of caramel, fruit, garlic.  Full-bodied aromas waft through the hills, and little children smell the air and look up to the heavens and wonder: why did god create cocoa, and can I please have a Hershey's? "No, mi amor!" says one mother.  Hershey's is for the gringos, for those who don't understand.  Don't understand what?  That the mystery of the universe is revealed in a fine bean-to-bar chocolate.