The decline of Grenada’s nutmeg industry may be a sad tale, but the story of the Grenada Chocolate Company would make an inspiring movie. Operating from a tiny converted house, using only Grenadian cocoa, employing local people and keeping the profits on the island, former cocoa hobbyist Mott Green has created a barnstorming success story. More importantly, his organic chocolate, available island-wide and, back home, in Waitrose, is fantastic.
Grenadian cocoa has long been renowned for its fruity, spicy quality, but production was largely abandoned in favour of nutmeg in the mid-19th century. Seeing that hundreds of trees still thrived, even post-Ivan, Mr Green had a eureka moment. His chocolate has won international awards.
Award-winning Grenada chocolate
Sadly, the company no longer runs tours (visitors’ perfumes interfere with the flavours, apparently), but you can try its drinking chocolate and bonbons at another of the island’s agri-tourism enterprises, the Belmont Estate, which grows cocoa for the company.
As hummingbirds flit among the flowers and monkeys chatter in the trees, we wander the historic plantation and gardens. Visitors can see the harvested beans fermenting in huge boxes, a process that neutralises bitterness and improves the flavour, then drying in the sun afterward. Belmont has an open-air restaurant, too, with valley views, offering local specialities such as plantation beef stew and side orders of fried cou-cou, a cornmeal-and-coconut staple.