The Primo Chocolate Factory (from Bean to Bar) is a small, artisan operation that has at its helm a colorful and entertaining Italian man named Pepe:
His lovely wife has a bakery at the rear of the property and you will most likely be invited to sample her breads / breadsticks:
Pepe is as old school as they come, and that means the quality is the highest. For Pepe it is a matter of principle that one makes chocolate for the ultimate pleasure of not only eating, but as you would a fine wine — smelling, tasting and lingering. Popping a piece of Pepe’s chocolate and quickly chewing it down would be sinful in Pepe’s book.
Pepe himself takes you on a tour of the forest lands that are home to the cacao trees. It’s a good 1.5 hours each way but Pepe will pepper you with stories of his 25+ years in Bali.
The cacao pod itself, when the time is right, offers a creamy coating to the bean. And it is quite good, although it takes nothing like chocolate.
After harvesting the pods the fleshy beans are fermented for several days in order to extract natural sugars and other goodies to the beans:
After the tour is complete, we return to the factory:
where we see the details of turning the beans into magnificent chocolate:
In the end we get to sample the results of a slow, classic method of creating a highly refined product.