“Like Water for Chocolate” and “Chocolat” are two of my favorite movies. There’s just something sexy about chocolate. Women are naturally drawn to it. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe because it’s orgasmic biting into a luscious bite. Eating chocolate can often be better than, well . . . you know. Or anything made from the magical cacao bean including Cacao tea that I first tried on the island of Grenada when I was on a sailing trip in the Grenadines. The Grenadines are in the Caribbean’s West Indies and are islands between Saint Vincente and Grenada. Grenada is called “The Isle of Spice.”
There’s no reason to feel guilty about eating it, especially if it’s pure and straight from the rain forest.
Our sailboat trip in the Grenadines
In 2006, we spent 3 weeks in The Grenadines (the lower part of the Caribbean) on a 50-foot sailboat. We sailed from the island of Saint Vincente to Grenada. If you remember, that was the island the US invaded in 1983.
It’s hard to believe all that tragedy took place on an island that is so calm and scenic.
While we were in Grenada, we spent part of the day at the Belmont Estates. (a chocolate plantation)
Belmont Estate – Chocolate Plantation
We took a tour and learned how chocolate is made from raw cacao beans. Here I am with my friend Marion and our tour guide helping to crush the beans.
After our tour, we sipped a sampling of their “to-die-for” Grenada Cacao Tea made with shaved cacao, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Find raw cacao balls and other Caribbean products at Shop D’ Caribbean.
What I loved about our sailboat trip in the Grenadines is that we were able to experience island like the way most people in cruise ships never do. We landed on tiny islands where we saw plenty of goats, sheep, and Rastafarians. We ate and talked with locals, other sailors, artists, and vendors who came up to our boat selling everything from bread to tee shirts. It was an amazing experience, aside from the fact that I was eaten alive by mosquitos. After flying into Barbados, our Windward island hopping included Saint Vincent, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Tobago Cays, Union Island, Carriacou, and Grenada.
Hotels in the Grenadines and Grenada
- Booking.com lists the 11 Best Hotels in the Grenadines.
- Booking.com lists the 12 Best Hotels in Grenada.
Flights to Grenada
- Expedia – Find the most affordable flight to Madrid on a search engine you can trust.
Car Rental in St. Vincent in the Grenadines
- Car Rentals in the Grenadines Book a car rental on Expedia.
Boat tours in the Grenadines
- The 10 Best St. Vincent and the Grenadines Boat Tours – Not into sailing a boat by yourself? Take a chartered boat tour instead.
I’ve created a cacao tea recipe that’s similar to what I experienced in Grenada and hope you enjoy it:
- 1 cocoa ball
- 2 cups water
- splash vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ½ tbsp. sugar
- ½-3/4 cup of milk
- Dissolve the cocoa ball into a pot of boiling water on the stove top.
- Stir for 4 minutes or more over medium high heat
- Add the milk, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and bay leaf. Cook for about 2 minutes to allow the spices and sugars to blend.
- Strain into a mug.
Chocolate is made using the fruit pods of the cacao tree. Cacao is the Aztec word for chocolate. (also called cocoa) Cacao is believed to have come from the Andes, in the Amazon of South America. The Spanish started shipping it to Europe from Mexico in the late 1500’s. The joy of eating chocolate began to spread throughout Europe. The Spanish also introduced it to the Philippines, the West Indies, and North America.
But here’s the healthy part . . .
The minerals contained in chocolate (cacao) include:
. . . as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid.
Cacao has more phenolic phytochemicals and anti-oxidants than any other food. It’s loaded with flavonoids. You receive the most benefit from eating dark chocolate that’s 70% or higher in cacao.
The Aztecs used cacao to relieve stomach and intestinal problems. Cocoa butter is excellent for reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Drinking a cocoa drink that’s high in flavonols helps to improve your skin’s texture by making it less rough and more hydrated.
Other health benefits from eating chocolate include:
- Heart health – Dark chocolate improves endothelial function and reduces bad cholesterol.
- Diabetes – The flavonols in dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity and lowers blood pressure.
- The antioxidants in cacao help to suppress colon cancer, improve brain function and relieve diarrhea.
Purchase some of the amazing chocolate from Grenada Chocolate on Amazon by clicking here.
What’s your favorite way to eat chocolate or favorite brand? Please leave a comment below. We want to eat it!