Director’s Blog – August 11, 2016
This was a very exciting and delicious week at Camp Louise. We had a visit from Aileen, the Chocolate Lady! Aileen grew up here as a camper for 7 years at Louise. She loves camp and she loves chocolate. What a great combination!
The Chocolate Lady told me that before you eat chocolate, it is so important to learn where chocolate comes from. She wants the campers to understand its rich history. Each type of chocolate has its own personality and there are only three types of chocolate (white, milk, and dark). Everything else is a flavor, not a type.
Some other facts I learned about chocolate:
- Cacao pods grow on tress and they have to be cut off by hand.
- The number one place in the world that they grow is the Ivory Coast of Africa.
- The only two places in the United States that they grow are Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
- The pods start as little white flowers.
- Each pod has between 30-50 bitter tasting beans that are covered with a sticky, sweet pulp.
- The beans are scooped out and put on banana leaves which then soak up the moisture.
- Aztec Emperor Montezuma absolutely loved the beans. He created a drink from the beans called xoocolatl. He liked it very, very spicy – which is the origin of the term hot chocolate. It never meant temperature hot, it meant heat from the spice.
- Montezuma used the beans as currency.
The Chocolate Lady then went on to tell us about some of the health benefits of chocolate. The beans she uses in her two chocolate factories come from a co-op in Ecuador. The beans have four times the amount of antioxidants than blueberries. They can lower your risk of heart issues by a third. They also have antibacterial properties that are better than fluoride. Who knew!?!?
After our chocolate lesson, the campers each picked a short pretzel rod with a marshmallow on the end and they got to dip their “pop” into one of the types of chocolate they think they like the best – dark, milk, or white. While their pops were chilling in the ‘fridge, each camper did a taste test. Only using their sense of taste, they had to close their eyes and “take two chews and a swish in the mouth” for each type of chocolate. After this experiment, many campers ended up changing their minds about which type of chocolate they like the best. Dark chocolate became quite the winner!
Now, they got to make their own individual chocolate pizza. Their new favorite type of chocolate became the base and they then visited the topping bar to finish up their creation. After a day in the ‘fridge, their pizzas will be ready to eat!
The campers also had an opportunity to make fudge in a bag – a very popular part of their chocolate experience and the Chocolate Lady shared this recipe with us. You can even try it at home…
Samantha – Bunk 27
Today’s Menu[table “” not found /]
High: 95°F | Low: 77°F – Pretty hot!