Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Steelgrass Farm Chocolate Tour with Friends

Pam and I with "dragon fruit"
Today two good friends from the mainland ( Pam and Faith!) were visiting on Kauai and we went to the Steelgrass Farm for a chocolate tour.  Steelgrass is owned by Tony Lydgate and his family and they host a 3 hour tour of organic fruit/veggy tasting (well one veggie-a watermelon radish). It is a sustainable 8 acre farm  and the tour ends with  a look at their cacao orchard and a dark chocolate tasting of 11 dark chocolates from around the world.  You get to taste each chocolate without knowing which one is which, and rate its attributes, just like a wine tasting - all the while you are shown chocolate making small machinery and you learn chocolate's history and how it is made.  We were also given dried seeds( with "nibs" inside) and milk chocolate covered nibs, to try. The tour itself  takes you from tree to tree and plant to plant and our guide was very funny with great stories and anecdotes. We saw many varieties of palm, viewed their bee hives, sampled their award winning palm blossom honey on bamboo skewers, had sugar cane we rubbed in Tahitian limes wedges, watermelon radishes, longans (dragon eyes, which is what the fruit looks like when it is peeled), sapote (yuck!), star fruit, lilikoi (passion fruit), native oranges and we all sucked nectar from ginger blossoms. We also saw many varieties of bamboo and papyrus, vanilla bean orchids (with vanilla bean pods!), bread fruit,  and of course the cacao trees and their gorgeous chocolate pods!  It was very interesting and and mostly delicious!  They also had a few artists in residence on the property that are constructing bamboo sculptures.  The weather was gorgeous and it was a most enjoyable morning.
Afterwards we went to Mermaids for lunch (Ahi wraps and hibiscus lemonade tea!) and then we walked around Kapaa town, visiting the galleries and shops. We capped the afternoon with drinks at the upstairs Olympic cafe and bar, overlooking Kapaa town.
I had a great day with terrific friends.

my sad and sole cacao pod ( but now i know how to plant the seeds!)
my cacao tree is rangy and not very tree-like


Joanne Huffman said...

Sounds like a great day - nothing's better than good times with good friends. Your cacao pod looks great.

jackie said...

What an interesting day! Thanks for the great photos and the description of the fruits of the land.