And discover the world of chocolate, from bean to bar!
Some heavenly sweet treats emerge from Richard Lauret’s small factory in Grand Bois! With Les Cabosses Ailées, this local man has launched into a fabulous chocolate-making aventure on Reunion Island. A top-quality product, no middlemen and only locally-sourced ingredients… Chocolate lovers, this is just the experience for you!
The Bean To Bar tour, from cocoa beans to chocolate bars on Reunion Island
We find Richard waiting for us outside a wall of hessian sacks, the ones used to transport cocoa beans. If you’re not sure how to reach his factory, no worries. Simply follow your nose, guided by the aromas of melted chocolate and roasting cocoa.
Dressed in his artisan chocolate-maker’s outfit, he briefs us about the morning’s tour. Off we go to learn about the different stages of chocolate-making on Reunion Island, from selecting the cocoa beans to moulding and wrapping the bars. Before anything else, the tour of course begins with the harvesting of the cacao pods, the fruit of the cacao tree. The “Bean to Bar” motto reflects a trend that is quite simply a deliberate choice: to select the cocoa beans directly alongside the producer in order to make chocolate bars of exceptional quality. Creation of Les Cabosses Ailées!
Cocoa bean tasting and tour of the chocolate factory on Reunion Island.
Surprise, surprise, everyone present this morning is a chocolate lover! Yet we’re all surprised by the differences in flavour of the cocoa beans that Richard asks us to taste. The beans produced in different regions of the world – Madagascar, Ghana, Dominican Republic and, of course, Reunion Island – each have their own distinct flavour! The difference is striking. We’re especially curious to try the famous Bourbon cocoa and learn more about the history of this activity on the island.
We then go for a more in-depth visit of the Reunion Island chocolate factory. We discover brand new aromas of roasting cocoa and learn why the beans are roasted. In a small room known as the “conching room”, we discover cocoa liqueur. In another room we learn what really lies behind the cocoa percentage indicated on the chocolate bars we find in the shops. At Les Cabosses Ailées it couldn’t be simpler, as there are only two ingredients: cocoa beans and sugar from Reunion Island. Nothing else!
As we move from one room to another, Richard shares with us his passion for this precious expertise, a high-precision craft. He is a goldsmith of the chocolate-making world!
Our tour ends with a tasting of the products made at Les Cabosses Ailées. Naturally, we’re all impatient to try the chocolate made on Reunion Island! For this outstanding product for which only Bourbon cocoa is used, the beans are harvested across the entire island! With the help of a chocolate-tasting aroma wheel, the participants each put forward their own impressions of floral, citrus or spicy notes. Richard patiently guides us through our Reunion Island chocolate tasting session, adding a challenge here and there.
By the end of the morning our senses are highly stimulated by the visit and of course demand that we leave with a few chocolate bars to prolong the experience at home!