Engage your taste buds, minds and imaginations for a chocoholic's dream weekend. Money may not grow on trees, but who needs that if you can grow your own chocolate?
Join Vallarta Botanical Gardens on October 17 and 18 for the Cacao and Chocolate Festival.
The celebration will begin each day at Noon with an Open House of the Special Exhibition and Chocolate, Gift of the Gods presented until 5:00 pm. Guided tours will be given of Vallarta Botanical Garden's Theobroma cacao groves from 1:00 until 2:00.
On Saturday, October 17, from 2:00 until 5:00 presentations will be given from a series of dynamic guest speakers. On Sunday, guest speaker presentations will take place from 2:00 until 4:30, followed by the closing celebration with live music.
Guest guides, lecturers and exhibitors include Fernel Babadilla, Director of Amo Cacao, a Guadalajara based network of organic cacao farmers; Ana Rita Garcia Lascurain, Director of the museum MUCHO Mundo Chocolate in Mexico City; Leslie Korn, PhD, MPH, author of Chocolate, Chilies and Coconuts - The Culture and Cuisine of West Mexico; Doreen Pendgracs, author and owner/guide of the Canadian based company Chocolatour; along with several area chefs and restauranteurs.
Chocolate is a product of the cacao (Theobroma cacao), a small evergreen tree, that is native to Mexico’s southern region. Its seeds are used to make cocoa powder and chocolate. The fruit, called a cacao pod, is ovoid, 15–30 cm long and 8–10 cm wide, ripening yellow to orange, and weighs about 500 g (1.1 lb) when ripe. The pod contains 20 to 60 seeds, usually called "beans", embedded in a white pulp. The seeds are the main ingredient of chocolate, while the pulp is used in some countries to prepare a refreshing juice. Their most noted active constituent is theobromine, a stimulating compound similar to caffeine.
Event entry is included in regular garden admission (adolescents and adults 80 pesos and children 20 pesos).
Vallarta Botanical Gardens is located 30 minutes south of Old Town, Puerto Vallarta, on Carretera a Barra Navidad at km 24, just past Las Juntas and Los Veranos.
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