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The Beginning of our Chocolate Journey

Modica Sicily

Matete used to hand grind cocoa beans for making chocolate

Matete used to hand grind cocoa beans for making chocolate

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Chocolate factory tour Antica Dolceria Bonajuto here we come!

Chocolate factory tour Antica Dolceria Bonajuto here we come!

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Once my relatives in Sicily heard I was making chocolate they insisted I go to Modica, a remote little hill town on the Eastern side of Sicily famous for their chocolate. So off we went landing in Catania and headed south to find this little hidden gem. Excited to find them we immediately signed up for their next tasting and chocolate tour. What we discovered was totally unexpected but greatly appreciated. In this tiny storefront with a back commercial kitchen exists dolceria Antica Dolceria Bonaju, a third generation of chocolate makers and bakers. Their ancestors learned to make chocolate as did the ancient ones, stone ground and unrefined. Real cacao, the only difference being that the Europeans added sugar to the original method of ground roasted cocoa beans. At the tasting I sampled various flavors ranging from ginger, to hot chili pepper. The texture was grainy from the sugar crystals and unrefined cocoa beans. The chocolate was like none I had ever tasted, deep, rich, full of flavor; there was something very unique and familiar about the chocolate . . . a distant memory of a time long, long ago.