Well actually there is no route 66 in Southern Belize, but we thought the title was catchy. See, we decided to explore southern Belize today. We were headed to a town called Punta Gorda or PG. The trip started out a little rainy, but by the time we reached PG, the sun was beaming. Our first stop as we entered the little sea side town was a local bakery where we enjoyed muffins and breakfast sandwiches. We got directions to the local farmers market in town. This is where the local Belizean, and Guatemalans sold their fruits, vegetables, and wares. We picked up some amazing fruits and vegetables and observed the locals conducting business. This is a great little town! An absolute must see if you are ever in the area.
We loaded back Into the butane powered Land Rover and headed for the chocolate farm in San Felipe. As we wound down the pot hole stricken dirt road, we couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of the surrounding area. Vine covered signs pointed us in the right direction.
We pulled into the grass parking lot of the building and sign welcoming us to IXcacao.
We feel anything with “cao” in the name is worth checking out. Juan met us and welcomed us to his family owned chocolate farm . He said lunch was almost ready. We were to have chocolate flavored chicken! That was a first for us. Juan introduced his wife who was preparing the meal as he showed us around.
Before we knew it, we were sitting at a table smelling the aroma of the gourmet meal being prepared. We were served 100% cacao in a hot chocolate style drink. It is the way many generations of this Mayan family drank the sweet nectar. Next we were served pure cacao chocolate candies, all before our meal! That’s what I call an appetizer! Then came the main meal. The chicken was some of the most tasty chicken, I had ever eaten. There was yellow ginger rice, pumpkin, tomatoes, cucumbers, and collard greens! A real feast, all organically grown right on their family farm. It was great! Next we were shown how the cacao beans were shelled and ground by hand, just like it had been done for generations. The grinding stones were handed down through the generations and had been at least 4 generations before Juan and his family received the very ones we used today. It was a great experience and a deal at $20 for the tour and meal. A chocolate festival is scheduled for May 2014. We will definitely be back!