|The Jackfruit is known for its health benefits. See this link for nutritional details.|
The next stop along the way during the final hour of the three-hour tour of the Princeville Botanical Gardens was to the sheltered chocolate tasting presentation.
|An Anthurium, gone wild.|
We all sighed with relief to finally be able to sit down away from the heat of the sun, sip the lemon-flavored water Mary Lou offered, and ogle over the several containers of chocolate she had placed on the table in front of her.
|The Cacao Tree.|
She told us the story of how the cacao pods are harvested, the seeds are removed, processed, fermented, and dried for a final product that owner Lucy uses to place into her chocolate-making machine, an at-home use sized melangeur.
|The huge cacao tree pods are fascinating.|
|These pods provide a perspective as to the size of the pods.|
These final beans are called “nibs” which I use in making my Low Carb High Fat Protein Bars, a recipe I recently posted here. Nibs are chocolate in its purest form without any added sugar or ingredients. Nibs may contain as much as 53% cocoa butter, depending on the species.
|This Banana Tree flower is in the beginning stages as we’d seen in Madeira almost a year ago. Please click here for our post about the morphology of the banana plant. The small bananas produced on this particular tree are decorative only.|
After drying, the beans are then placed into the melangeur. Lucy, the owner, makes only a small amount of chocolate, enough for the garden tour guests to try and for her and husband Bill’s personal use.
|Touring the Princeville Botanical Gardens was a fabulous experience for which we wrote a positive review on TripAdvisor. Click here to read our review.|
For details of the chocolate-making process, please click here for an article comparable to the description Mary Lou provided us during the demonstration of the various types of chocolates available throughout the world, allowing each guest to try the different flavors. The final taste was Lucy’s which everyone seemed to enjoy.
|Pink Grapesplant with interesting flowers.|
Unfortunately, all of the chocolates offered for tasting contained sugar so I gracefully declined as I’d also declined the earlier fruit tasting.
|This is the Tree of Sorrow. Click here for information.|
Knowing that after dinner I could enjoy chunks of nibs in my Low Carb High Fat Protein Bar, (recipe is on this post) I didn’t mind a bit and thoroughly enjoyed the smells and the smiles on the faces of the others as they tasted each morsel. Tom would have enjoyed this part of the tour.
|It appeared that birds had feasted on the sweet juicy seeds of this pomegranate.|
I never knew much about chocolate although on occasion I’d savor a taste or more in the days before I had to forgo sugar in my life, almost four years ago. Tom, with his picky taste buds never cared for dark chocolate, preferring milk chocolate instead.
|The Noni Fruit, known as one of the world’s most nutrient-rich fruit. See here for details.|
|This is a tiny avocado, no larger than the size of a chestnut.|
I had no idea, as Mary Lou explained that milk chocolate has powdered milk in its ingredient list to make it lighter and also more sugar than the dark chocolates to make it more enjoyable for those more particular taste buds.
|Mary Lou held this flower from a Lychee Tree.|
If chocolate is stated as 80% cacao it merely means that 20% of its labeled ingredients are those other than chocolate such as fillers, sugar, flavorings, etc. The nibs alone are 100% cacao.
|Mary Lou was busy setting up the chocolate presentation while we rested in the chairs.|
|For the tasting, she presented six different chocolate, the one closest to her, made by owner Lucy utilizing the cacao plants growing in the gardens.|
Over the past several years, I’d paid little attention to all the news in the media of the health benefits of chocolate when every bar had sugar listed in its ingredients. Now, I better understand the significance of the percentages.
|Many varieties of orchids are grown throughout the gardens.|
The chocolate class lasted 30 minutes and once again we were on our way to another fabulous part of the tour, near the river, across the footbridge over the creek, and up and down some steep but beautiful areas.
|Hong Kong Orchid Tree.|
After stopping to take more photos, suddenly I heard a familiar voice and turned to find Tom. When he arrived early to pick me up, Harold took him on the quick tour via a golf cart, dropping him off the complete the final leg of the tour with me.
|A Breadfruit Tree.|
I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see him. I introduced him to our small group, grabbed his hand and we were on our way. It was especially enjoyable to be able to share this final area with him, as he too was in awe of the beauty of the Princeville Botanical Gardens.
|We all loved the name of this tree, the Teddy Bear Redneck Palm.|
Chatting on endlessly as to what we’d already seen and done, I looked forward to showing him the photos when we returned homes as we walked and continued to take more photos during the remaining 20 minutes of the tour.
When we reached the end, we wandered to the shop and check-in area to thank Harold and Mary Lou (leaving her a tip) and say our final goodbyes. It couldn’t have been a better day.
|As we neared the end of the tour, we crossed this easy-to-navigate footbridge.|
|The creek below the footbridge.|
|At this point, Tom had met up with me and we crossed this footbridge together.|
Although I didn’t have an opportunity to meet Lucy and spent only a minute with Bill, I want to thank them and their staff as well for the love and care they’ve given to this magical place, the Princeville Botanical Gardens.
|Another Anthurium, gone wild.|
If you’re ever on the island of Kauai, make sure not to miss this five-star event. I have no doubt it will prove to be as memorable for you as it’s been for me and hopefully, for our worldwide readers as we share our photos over these past three days.
|As we walked over these stones it reminded me of “Alice in Wonderland.”|
|The varying shades of green and lush plants, flowers, and trees added to the exquisite beauty of the Princeville Botanical Gardens.|
Today, we’re staying in to watch the final of the Master’s Golf Tournament, a usual pastime for us in this life we live. From time to time, it’s good to try something new.
|At the end of the tour, we took a photo of another couple and they took this photo of us. It was a wonderful day, I’ll always remember.|
Photo from one year ago today, April 12, 2014:
|Although we were back home in Marrakech, we continued sharing photos of our short-lived mini vacation. For details on why we ended it early, please click here.|