For the chocolate lovers in the world, the “gastronomic” possibility is open to learn about cocoa in their country of origin: Mexico, a country recognized for obtaining the finest cocoa cocoa in the world. The route goes from its origin in the countryside to its final manufacturing, let's know this irresistible tourist route.
Cacao from Tabasco the Cacao route
Tabasco is a land of cultures. As is well known, this state is considered as the land of cocoa, a seed that transformed into chocolate conquered the world, and it is not for less, since here Mayans and Olmecs left their mark on the lush nature, which invites you to explore the ancient Their traditions and customs. These two cultures were the first to savor cocoa beans as a drink, which were ground, mixed with water and garnished with spices and herbs.
Este fruto además de ser considerado “alimento de dioses”, simbolizó para los olmecas y mayas, vigor físico y longevidad, al igual que riqueza y poder, ya que era utilizada como moneda de cambio. Esto llamo más la atención de Hernán Cortés quien a su llegada fue recibido y honrado con esta importante bebida.
In Mexico, cacao cultivation was scattered throughout the warm and temperate zone of the country. From the province of Tabasco, to Michoacán, Colima, Chiapas and Campeche. It was produced spontaneously, but some main varieties of the plant were also cultivated: Quauhcahuatl, Xochicahuatl and Tlacacahuatl. The most esteemed cocoa were those of the provinces of Tabasco and Soconusco or Xoconocho, for their large, oilseed and good-tasting seeds.
Cacao has an importance that has transcended throughout the history of our country, mainly in the state of Tabasco where it was used as a numerary in the transactions, thus commercial activities were carried out that supported the economy of pre-Hispanic culture.
Nowadays, cocoa is a precious product in European countries, manufacturers of the best chocolates, especially Tabasco cocoa recognized for its quality, unique organoleptic characteristics in the world and unmatched flavor.
Tabasco has a cultivated area of cacao of 40 thousand 832 hectares on which 31 thousand 139 families depend, who own 35 thousand 967 farms, distributed in 450 communities in 10 municipalities: Comalcalco, Cárdenas, Cunduacán, Huimanguillo, Jalpa de Méndez, Paraíso , Teapa, Centro, Tacotalpa, and Nacajuca.
Currently 11,092 hectares are certified as organic cacao for the benefit of 6,617 producers, who live in 312 communities belonging to 8 different municipalities.
In this state of the Mexican Republic its importance is recognized and valued, that is why cocoa has a tourist route designed especially for the appreciation of its production, exploitation and history process. This worldwide recognition is the consolidation that gives added value to this tourist option.
From Cacao to Chocolate
Tabasco is the land of cacao, a seed that transformed the world into chocolate. This tour begins in Comalcalco, where we will find the town of Cupilco, its importance lies in the fact that this town served as a commercial exchange border between the Mayan and Aztec villages, here is the most picturesque church in Tabasco.
We will visit the archaeological zone of Comalcalco, the only Mayan city in Mesoamerica, built with known clay bricks.
Then you can visit one of the cacao farms: the Cholula Farm, Hacienda Jesús María and the Hacienda La Luz, to witness the elaboration of the exquisite Tabasco chocolate, and in the latter know the only Cacao Museum in Latin America.
This route ends in Paradise, where there are many beaches with palm trees. It is a beautiful walk through the Puerto Ceiba-El Bellote-Chiltepec Gastronomic Corridor to admire the impressive mangroves through a tour of the Mecoacán Lagoon in tourist boats and subsequently taste typical coastal food such as the exquisite oyster tapesco, stuffed crab, among others. Back to the capital, do not forget to visit the Central Park of Paradise and taste a traditional coconut card snow or Manzarina Deli for a refreshing cacao frappe.
The Cacao Haciendas
Currently you can enjoy an interesting and aromatic tour when visiting one of the three cacao farms, discovering and experiencing the transformation of cacao to chocolate:
Hacienda La Luz
It is located in the heart of the city of Comalcalco and only 5 minutes from the archaeological zone of the same municipality. This hacienda best known by locals as Hacienda Wolter, in memory of Dr. Otto Wolter, its owner, was among the first to industrialize cocoa to make chocolate from the famous Tabasqueña Chontalpa Region.
The Hacienda La Luz has a peculiarity within its facilities, since in one of the wineries where the process for the manufacture of chocolate begins, is the Museum of Cacao and Chocolate, so it is a museum alive in the that you can know not only the history of cacao and chocolate, but its transformation process over time.
Located in the municipality of Comalcalco just 300 m from the Archaeological Zone of the same name.
Guided tours of the plantations are offered to appreciate the great variety of cocoa pods and at the same time admire the diverse species of plants and animals that inhabit the place, especially the saraguato monkeys, which are easy to observe living among the branches of the site trees.
When visiting the “El Chontal” product factory, the process to convert cacao into chocolate and finally taste it fresh, freshly roasted and ground will be known. A unique experience. They also have a plant nursery and a handicraft shop where you can acquire a souvenir of this experience.
Hacienda Jesús María
Hacienda Jesús María is located in the ranchería Sur, 5th. Section, just 10 minutes from the municipality of Comalcalco.
This beautiful hacienda was built based on bricks with pillars that support the roof and surrounded by mosaic-based corridors. It opens its doors for the enjoyment of the comfort of its rooms, showing visitors a beautiful collection of traditional costumes from the old cacao farms.
It has an original representation of the old Chontal kitchen, where you can see utensils, the earthen stove, jícaras, metate and of course the cook dressed in the typical costume.
The Jesús María ranch also has a chocolate factory where you can see all its production process, from the choice of cacao beans, to the obtaining of several by-products such as cocoa butter, cocoa paste and cocoa; In addition to powdered drinks, table chocolate, candies, toppings, confectionery, etc., in various presentations and with handmade packaging.
This farm preserves intact its ancestral origins in the cultivation of cacao, the production of traditional homemade chocolate and currently in an industrial way, with the mission of rescuing and publicizing the cultural, folkloric and artisanal values of the state, as well as the preservation, promotion and ecological awareness, with emphasis on regenerating the last plantations of Creole cacao; Considered worldwide the best for its high fat content, flavor and excellent aroma.
Come, come, come, let's go to Tabasco, that Tabasco is an Eden.
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