How Carol Morse's visit to Guatemala started Acalli Chocolate
Carol Morse, owner and chocolate maker of Acalli Chocolate, began making chocolate after a 2013 visit to Guatemala, where her archaeologist husband works during the summers. While there, she met cacao growers in nearby Belize, and local chocolate makers. The experience inspired her to buy small-scale equipment to make chocolate at home. She has no formal culinary training but she learned and mastered her chocolate-making process with the help of Chocolate Alchemy and Chocolate Life.
With a background in anthropology and economic development, Carol was especially drawn to the people side of chocolate making, and a 2014 visit to the Norandino Cooperative in Peru was a chance to talk with cacao growers about their cultivation and fermentation techniques, and develop a cacao sourcing relationship. Visiting cacao growers in person and sourcing the sugar in her smaller bars locally have been opportunities to deepen ties both where the cacao originates and where she makes the chocolate itself.
The Acalli Chocolate workshop sits on the west bank of the Mississippi River, across from New Orleans. It may be small at just over 500 square feet, but it houses everything needed to make chocolate – a rotisserie oven (turned cacao roaster), winnower, grinders, tempering machine…and a whirlwind of chocolate work!
Photo Credit: Erin Krall