The hostel where I am working is next door to a craft chocolate shop. Finally popped in today for a brief visit while on my way elsewhere. Talking to the staff woman there it was interesting to hear her say “this is made with all local cacao.” It just took me a moment to process that because so often in the States I hear about this or that is local even if in reality the ingredients at least are not. Local chocolate and local coffee in the U.S. isn’t all that local. The process of turning the raw ingredients into a finished product may be done locally (local to the retailer, or the customer buying from the retailer), but chocolate (or cacao) and coffee are imported from hundreds or thousands of miles away. To be in a country where to say “this is local” as a product that in the U.S. or, say, Europe or any other non-tropical/sub-tropical region of the world is something exotic (even though coffee and chocolate are two things likely hardly viewed as exotic; colonialism, ahem *cough*) is, really, just kinda neat. There’s nothing truly remarkable for it, except that I have the opportunity to be here. I mean, THAT is truly the remarkable thing.
So, anyway, they have a chocolate tap in their counter that continually flows. I was given a sample of this on a spoon: 72% chocolate, and the rest sugar. Nothing else. It was quite good, and easy to let one’s imagination run rampant with visuals of employees’ (or my own) heads under the faucet, mouths wide open gulping it down. I’m looking forward to returning for maybe a meal or a coffee as they are a full service coffee bar and kitchen as well.
I finished my last training shift at the hostel today, and will officially begin working and being paid (very little) tomorrow. I am now out for a stroll, on the hunt for some coffee and good food as it’s about time for dinner.