Carretera Cabeza de Toro
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Dona Maria's Home & Plantation
The Dominican Republic has a long legacy of chocolate plantation growers. And the process from growing, to harvesting, collecting, and drying is something Maria has been doing her entire life. She was raised in a family that cultivated Cacao for generations and lives and works in the same place her Great Grandmother did. Something to be proud of in a world were skills and trades are not always continued in the generation to come. What I loved most about this tour was Maria's warm welcome and vivid display. She went through the whole process as if we were having on the job training. This is also her home. Her and her partners have turned an honest business into a travel destination. With poverty lining the towns and villages around one of the largest tourist destinations a couple miles away, I honor the authenticity and small scale of this tour. Here she is tossing the cacao beans after they have been roasted. Roasting is optional but done property can have great value and will not kill the nutrients and antioxidant that are richly present in dark pure chocolate. It sterilizes the cocoa bean, as the conditions in which cocoa beans are fermented are naturally full of bacteria, fungi and molds. I highly recommend visiting Dona Maria and enjoying all the plantation has to offer; vanilla, cigars, mangos, papaya etc. She has great products for sale you feel good about buying. Her address (if you don't want to take a tour).is Casa Maria El Bonao, Paraje Palo Amargo.#809-710-5299
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