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Does Chocolate Grow on Trees?

Does chocolate grow on trees? Not exactly!

Cacao Pods

Cacao Pods

Find out how to best grow the bean that makes chocolate—cacao—from an international expert and Kona farmer at seminars and activities offered during the three-day Big Island Chocolate Festival May 1-3.

Take a tour of a working cacao farm and learn how organically produced soap using cacao is made from 9-11 a.m. Thursday, May 1 with Greg Colden of Kona Natural Soap Company. Fee is $25.

Seminars move May 2-3 to the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i. At 2:30 p.m. Friday, “Selecting Cacao Cultivar for Flavor” is presented by Ed Seguine, a 45-year cacao veteran and consultant with Seguine Cacao, Cocoa & Chocolate Advisors. Learn the segregation of agronomic and flavor traits in seed-grown cacao. Examples of breeding for flavor will be shown and tasting evaluated, plus techniques for small-scale micro-fermentation. Fee is $50.

At 11:15 a.m. Saturday, Colden discusses “Cacao as a Value Added Product for Business.” The Kona entrepreneur shares non-chocolate uses for cacao. Fee is $30.

Buy tickets online or at the door, www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.