The Cocoa Research Center at The UWI is hosting the biggest celebration of all things cocoa and chocolate in Trinidad and Tobago. World Cocoa and Chocolate Day 2018 will be celebrated with a two day public expo at a new spacious venue SPEC, The UWI.
Here are Five Reasons why you should attend this cocoa and chocolate extravaganza;
1 – BECOME A COCOA CONNOISSEUR
Trinbago produces 100% fine or flavour cocoa and the chocolate produced locally has been acclaimed with international awards. Origin branding and terroir are now applicable for chocolate so we should understand what this means. Across the culinary world, the concept of “terroir” is being taken into consideration more often than in the past. Terroir refers to factors such as the soil, topography, and climate and how they affect the character of an agricultural product. What this really means is that cocoa grown in the shade on a rocky hillside near the sea will have an aroma that’s completely different to from cocoa grown near a mountainous rainforest. They have different uses, and understanding that is key to truly enjoying chocolate. Talk to the people in the cocoa industry and get an appreciation for different types of chocolate blends.
2 – LEARN ABOUT CAREERS IN AGRICULTURE
In the early part of the twentieth century, cocoa agriculture was one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most vibrant and profitable sectors. As we seek to diversify the local economy, there’s no doubt that cocoa will make a comeback that requires expertise from many different fields. Take this opportunity to learn about the industry and see where you could fit into it, whether you study Management, Engineering, or French.
3 – DE-STRESS AFTER CLASS
The flavonoids contained in cocoa have been proven to have a positive effect on brain health. Dark chocolate has been proven to boost mood and brain function while simultaneously reducing stress. There’s a reason that chocolate is considered to be a comfort food, and samples of local cocoa products at World Cocoa & Chocolate Day is the perfect way to end a week of classes at UWI.
4 – LEARN ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR SCIENTISTS AND FARMERS
Budding or flourishing farmers can learn about Geographical Indication certification and the potential to improve revenue streams by certifying their supply to meet demands that discerning customers. Budding scientists can learn about the science behind the research of Cocoa Research Centre: the genomics (how we find hidden treasure in cocoa fields), pathology (cocoa diseases and how to minimize their impact), agronomy (looking at aspects of cultivation and related concepts) and morpho-physiology (traits of economic value measured physically) of cocoa.
5 – WIN PRIZES
Over twenty exhibitors have already pledged prizes for the two day chocolate extravaganza. There are hampers, chocolate products and more… From some of the top local chocolate producers like Ortinola Estates and Trinibon Chocolate as well as others like 868 Jewellery and Suite Scents.
Images provided by the Cocoa Research Institute.
Special thanks to Dr. Darin Sukha, Frances Bekele, & Antoinette Sankar for their contributions to this article.