TOM'S REPORT, TRIP TO COTE D'IVOIRE 2023 - Click to See Details - JUNE 18, Teaching day the the N'Douci Education Center

SUNDAY, JUNE 18 We left the hotel at 10 AM and went to the bank, which is in a nearby town, Tiassalé.   I needed to get 640,000 CFA to pay the hotel bill, lunch, gas, and Roger and Jean Joel.   I had only 300 euros in my wallet.   To get that amount, I needed to pull out 500,000 CFA from the account.   So I tried 500,000.   Nope.   300,000 CFA.   Nope.   100,000 CFA.   Yup.   Then I did that four more times and voila!   I had the cash to finish the trip! Then we had a quick breakfast.   I bought two roasted plantains and a bag of peanuts to go with my bottled water—through the car window. When we arrived at the center, the mélangeurs were spinning away, although they had quit during the night during a power outage.   Fortunately, Klaus who was sleeping on the tile floor in the next room, restarted the machines.   Klaus is a real blessing. OK, it was time for tempering and molding class.   First, I started by emptying the small mélangeur into a bowl.   Then I showed them (Klaus,

TOM'S REPORT, TRIP COTE D'IVOIRE 2023 -- JUNE 17, N'Douci and Cocoa Education Center, Testing new machines, 1ST Batch chocolate

  SATURDAY, JUNE 17 We started our day with a dish of Garba:   Attiéké (Fermented cassava) with grilled Tuna and a mixture of oil, onions, and hot chillies.   Breakfast of Champions or Champignons (mushrooms), depending on your sense of humor. Then we went to the cocoa center.   The rest of the day was hot, exhausting, and confused.   We waited a long time for the representative from the torrefacteur manufacturer to come.   But by 10 PM, we had a 15 Kg batch of chocolate going in the mélangeur. At several points I wasn’t sure it would all work.   And even now, it’s going to take Roger et al. a lot of perseverance to get it right.   At this writing, Sunday morning, we have to temper the chocolate.   I still have one machine to master—the temperer.    At the very least, we will be able to temper chocolate in the bowl and make disks and bars and wrap them. We started by waiting for the electrician, as none of the new circuits were live.   While we waited, we got started cracking a

TOM'S REPORT, TRIP TO COTE D'IVOIRE 2023, JUNE 16 -- Pezoan, Making bars and chocolate, Demonstration of products

Friday, June 16 Today was to be our day with Pezoan.  We had breakfast and then drove the 2 km from the hotel to the village.   We walked to the PH&F building and entered the rice hulling room.   Yesterday, I paid Servando for chocolate, which paid for the demonstration ingredients, and for the upcoming production days.  They made bars (ginger, pineapple, coconut, peanut) as well as small solid chocolates. Filling the silicone molds for the individual chocolates.  This is Fallone, David’s daughter.  Next to her is Prisca, who has done such a fabulous job contacting potential customers.   On right, filling the silicone molds.   They were also candying pineapple, ginger, and roasting coconut to put in the bars.  Left, toasted coconut bits. Right, candied ginger.   A few years ago, Servando had the walls painted very attractively. Our hero, the cocoa pod.  The larger refrigerator was purchased by one of the two California rotaries that we worked with.  Also, the room was lightly air-c