Grenada Goat Dairy on Kickstarter

So one of Stefanie and I’s favorite things to do when we get some free time is to drive out into the more rural parts of the island and spend the day there. Our favorite stop is Belmont Estate in St. Patrick, we’re their biggest fans and we’ve been so many times they don’t even make us pay to go on the tour anymore. We’ve written about it a few times, it’s home to the plantation that grows the chocolate for the Grenada Chocolate company.

It’s also the home to the Grenada Goat Dairy’s main processing facility. Their cheese is a main ingredient in Stefanie’s delicious and almost 100% local sweet potato soup that I’m sure she’ll be sharing with you all after the fourth term craziness calms down. Grenada Goat Dairy is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to expand and build a interactive goat dairy at a primary school in rural Grenada, so if you’d like to support the development of some local farming here in Grenada, head on over, they’re offering some pretty cool rewards for backers both local and abroad.


Umbrellas Late-Night and Belmont Estate (again)

So last night our new Greek friend invited us to come have a drink with her and a German couple down at Umbrellas, one of our favorite beach-side bars. Tyler’s love of Germany encouraged her to invite us along to meet them and it continued our trend of befriending the foreigners here in Grenada as opposed to the other med students.

But as the night turned out, we ended up a huge group of mostly med students who were finishing clinicals by working at the hospital in St. George’s (just about to graduate), Tyler and I, our Greek friend who is also doing rotations at the hospital, and one other student who is also in my term. He remembered quite vividly an incident where I apparently “shushed” him during an exam and he now holds it against me. I will likely never live it down now. But anyways, we had quite a blast. It was great for me to talk to so many people working in the hospital, but more than that we just love meeting people. Especially people who are not from America.

Today we travelled to Belmont Estate, where the grow the cocoa beans. Since it is one of my favorite places I wanted to be sure the Greek student got to see and experience all it had to offer.

Belmont Sign

Me, Tyler, and Anthia

It was great! We of course enjoyed the delicious local food (and ate way too much) and ate lots and lots of cocoa samples. I think I eat more than the 5EC cost of my tour in sample chocolate every time! This was my third time at Belmont and my third time taking the tour so I am practically qualified to give it. The tour guide had me try and name all the fruits and spices they had out – I didn’t do half-bad. I just always forget the few that are really really weird. But even though I have been on the tour a lot, each guide always adds some more extra. Tyler and my favorite part is eating the raw cocoa fruit out of the pod. The fruit is so tasty and after you eat it, you can totally catch the subtle fruit flavors in the cocoa you eat. Changes how you view chocolate. We joke that if we could only buy the cocoa pods, we would crack one open and suck on it for a snack in the afternoon.

This time we asked the tour guide about one of Belmont’s little secrets, the monkeys. He took us up to see some of the animals, including the monkeys! I was so excited. We were also supposed to go see the goats and get to bottle feed the little babies, but unfortunately we had to leave since Tyler had a conference call to make it back for in the evening.

Just look at that face They like to hold hands This one didn't want to come play Love this

All in all it made for a great day! So excited for the next time when we journey up there again! I guess if we befriend some Northumbria GSP students or anyone else new to the island. The guy that led our tour was also super nice and spent quite a bit of time talking to us about Grenada and gave me some recipes for making provisions and saltfish and told us about the awesome foodstands. We told him we wished we could live in his village, sounded so awesome. It was a great day!


Tyler’s Parents Vist: Part 3, The Chocolate Factory

Grenada Chocolate CompanyThe minute I found out that Grenada had a chocolate factory, it was added to Tyler and I’s bucket list. Tyler and I had been trying to visit the area for a while. We tried to rent a car for my birthday to go, but couldn’t get a car. We tried again after midterms but learned that it was closed on Saturdays. So, third times the charm, we planned to go while Tyler’s parents were here after spending the first part of the trip on the south side of the island snorkeling, exploring and eating lots of fish.

Belmont Estates is located in Heritage, which is up toward the North-Eastern side of the Island in St. Patricks. Belmont Estate actually grows the cocoa beans for the Grenadian Chocolate Factory. It is quite a long drive up there, about an hour or so, but totally worth it. Windy Grenadian roads and lacking road signs make all road trips an adventure. Mom didn’t handle the drive so well, but she survived and the tasty food and amazing chocolate I think we can agree made it all worthwhile.Belmont Estate

We decided to tour the plantation first. We got to see what a cocoa pod looks like – which honestly, I never would have assumed that this was where chocolate came from. We even got to taste what the cocoa pod seeds taste like. Then we went through the process of how the cocoa seeds are fermented and darken to form something more closely resembling something I might assume makes chocolate. Next the beans dry out in the sun for some time and the beans are regularly walked. Yes, walked! Tyler contributed a little to the chocolate making process even.

The cocoa pod The fermenting cocoa beans Tyler walking the cocoa beans Some local Grenadian goods

The best part of the tour was the fact that it ended with samples of cocoa tea (which was incredible, mostly because it was a less-sweet version of hot cocoa) and some of the chocolate made at the Chocolate Factory. It was hard not too eat the entire tray of chocolate pieces as they are so, so good.

Drinking cocoa tea

Our tour of Belmont Estate ended with eating lunch at the plantation restaurant. Let me just say that I still dream of this meal. It was an amazing 3 course Grenadian meal that made me so full that it hurt. The best part, hands down in my opinion, was the ginger-pumpkin soup. It might have been the cold I was fighting, but the soup was SO good! I want so very bad to learn how to make it because I think I could eat that soup all day. But the soup was followed by a buffet main course with delicious beef and fish and veggies and an amazing baked breadfruit cornbread-like thing. And since all meals are not complete without dessert, Grenada’s famous nutmeg ice cream followed. Can you see why I was so full it hurt? To top it all off, it started to rain as lunch ended and when it stopped, the most beautiful, full arc rainbow was visible through the tropical foliage.

I loved our visit to the Chocolate Factory. It was such a fun trip to all make together and such a fun experience. It is so beautiful up there. I am already secretly hoping for a return trip this December once finals are over.

Tyler and I had a blast while Mom and Dad were here – it was so nice that they came. It was like a vacation for us too! We hope we can leur more family and friends to come visit – we promise we will go to the Chocolate Factory…and that sure makes it worth it. Plus Tyler and I are pretty cool too!    🙂