Notes from Southern Mexico

16388293_10158183800890581_6396181039261172440_n

In January, Michael Sacco (ChocoSol Founder) and Chrystal Porter (ChocoSol Head Chef) travelled to Southern Mexico as part of our commitment to horizontal trade and to our learning community. Here are some highlights from their time spent in Mexico.

16473157_10157956676620478_6531315325251885177_n

Photo above: Michael Sacco (left) and one of our cacao producers Don Flor (right) in the Lacondon Jungle

Horizontal trade means reciprocity-based relationships based on direct trade. It is about embodying best practices at home and abroad, and striving to do our best with the resources and the vision that we have, not for someone else but by example, and in partnership with them.

16266199_10103607564164780_2317297157963000831_n

Photo above: Friend & tejatera Gloria Cruz Sanchez (left) taught Chrystal (right) how to grind cacao using a traditional metate y mano. This important cooking tool is used for making chocolate and salsas, and also for grinding corn.

16387317_10157932758760478_5942244886913449459_n

Photo above: Jaguar cacao pods and Jaguar cacao beans

Phase 2 of forest garden regeneration in Oaxaca’s forest gardens will include this ancient native variety of white cacao that we re-discovered and are building a regeneration project around at this very moment. Phase 1 of regenerating the jaguar cacao was so successful as to over supply our demand and so now we must work on the polyculture diversification of the forest gardens with this amazing Chinantec community. The jaguar cacao is used to make ChocoSol’s unique & rare ‘white’ chocolate (a.k.a., Jaguar Chocolate).

16174921_10157894956495478_9190276938460802479_n.jpg

Photo above: Cooking nixtamalized corn/maize that will eventually be ground into fresh masa (corn dough) for making tortillas.

The nixtamalization process of maize is a technique of soaking and cooking corn kernels in an alkaline solution. It was designed by the ancients to make maize more nutritious and 70% more digestible. Without it, your maize masa will not be right!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s