When Sutton cum Lound and Barnby Moor Gardening Club met on Tuesday 4th October at Barnby Moor Village Hall, the subject matter for the evening was ‘All about Chocolate’. Members were a bit concerned with regards to the title of the event, with many asking what chocolate has got to do with gardening.
Chairperson Jenny Bailey opened the meeting by welcoming the group before introducing the speaker for the evening: Alan Dixon, who produces Special Edition Chocolate at Market Rasen in Lincolnshire.
Alan began by showing what appeared to be a bar of a well-known brand of chocolate, but nowhere on the wrapper did it mention chocolate; it is classed as ‘confectionary’, as are many others of the top names we all know and love! He went on to explain that cocoa is the main ingredient used in the making of proper chocolate, showing pictures of cocoa pods and where and how they are grown, dating back over many to the Aztecs.
Most of the beans used by the company come from Ghana – but for a real special treat, they also do small batches of organic beans from Columbia and other South American countries. During the talk, samples of various chocolates were distributed.
A brief outline was given with regards to cocoa butter which is 100% pure, produced by the cocoa bean, with nothing is added or removed. It is used in many preparations, including cosmetics, soaps, and suntan lotions, and has been helpful in the soothing of skin irritations such as psoriasis.
A question-and-answer session followed, with members surprised at many of the answers and explanations given. An interesting and informative evening.