Above: A fresh cacao pod at Belmont Estate in Grenada

Chocolate, Nutmeg and Rum: Artisanal Food & Drink Tours in Grenada

Grenada has more to offer than powdery beaches, emerald mountains and azure seas — as if that weren’t enough. The island also has a number of artisanal producers of food and drink worth visiting. Valuable crops like cacao, nutmeg and sugar cane thrive in the volcanic soil and tropical climate of Grenada.

We visited two chocolate makers, a nutmeg cooperative and one of the island’s rum distilleries. It’s possible to visit these producers in a single excursion, but I recommend dividing them into at least two excursions, interspersing the tours below with visits to waterfalls and ancient petroglyphs.

Belmont Estate

Cacao beans drying in the sun at Belmont Estate - Photo by Hideaway Report editor

This large and popular estate dates to the 18th century, when it functioned as a sugar plantation. In the hands of the local Nyack family since 1944, it produced nutmeg until Hurricane Ivan destroyed the majority of its trees in 2004. While the replanted trees mature, Belmont Estate has refocused its energies on making high-quality chocolate (cacao plants take less time to start producing fruit). Because we visited after the cruise ship season had finished, we had a private tour with the energetic and knowledgeable Kelly. He picked a cacao pod and broke it open, revealing fresh beans clad in white pulp that tasted rather like mango. The pulp helps the all-organic beans ferment, before they’re dried and manually sorted by size in order to ensure even roasting. Belmont then ages its chocolate three months, tempers it and forms it into bars. They’re small and not inexpensive, but they make excellent gifts for people back home. The 74% chocolate bar with sea salt was my favorite.

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