My guest this week is the Founder of Ah Cacao in Playa Del Carmen, Monica Tello. Monica’s passion for chocolate led her to the Riviera Maya from Mexico City. Since starting Ah Cacao, the business has grown to three stores and an online international marketplace. Monica shares the history of the cacao tree, the value of cacao within the Mayan culture, and some of the delectable chocolate products she produces today.
During a tour of a cacao plantation, Monica discovered that there is so much more to chocolate than she previously thought. The Mayan people who lived in the Riviera Maya long ago were some of the first to use cacao. The Mayan Royals planted the sacred cacao trees next to cenotes and used them as currency because, at the time, everybody wanted some.
The cacao used by Ah Cacao is still harvested in the traditional way hand-picked, fermented, and dried in the sun to preserve its healthy components, and for the flavor and aroma. And in addition to the much-loved chocolate mousse, the cacao bar, and the warmed Maya chocolate drink with chili, Ah Cacao provides beauty products made from cacao butter, which is a byproduct created during the chocolate making process.
Monica says she loves the multi-cultural community in Playa del Carmen. When she travels, she visits the cacao plantation and museum in Merida, she loves the natural Mexican beauty of Palenque in Chiapas, and the great food and chocolate-making in Oaxaca.
Thank you to Buy Playa for sponsoring this episode. They sell only titled properties and are experts in their field!