Saturday, 14 November, on a sunny afternoon and I am still in love with the Chocolate Festival. After attending the opening ceremony in the Amsterdam' s harbour a week before, now I am joining the Choca Tour organized by the Centre Library of Amsterdam.
The guide started with showing a cacao bean. It is something I take for granted because in Indonesia I saw it often, but not for the Dutch participants. They studied the bean carefully and probably saw it for the first time in their life.
Our first visit was one of the oldest tea and coffee importer in the Netherland. It is located in Zeedijk. They served three sort of tea and all have something to do with chocolate. Silky Oolong, pure Earl Grey Tea and one more with chocolate taste in it.
Our second visit was Metropolitan Deli, also in Zeedijk. Kees, the owner is a passionate chocolatier. He let us to taste a cacao bean, 100% processed chocolate (without sugar etc) and milk chocolate. Hhmm..now we know! When chocolate is in the hands of someone as passionate as Kees, it taste heaven!
And we visited also a pharmacy in Zeedijk because in the past they produced medicine using chocolate. The cacao beans was so expensive that the pharmacist had to mix it with biscuits. The above "De Eeuwige Caper" is someone who has fighted to save the pharmacy. This pharmacy has been surviving for about 200 years.
Zeedijk is the red light district of Amsterdam. The guide told us about this small monument with the text "Respect Sex Workers All Over the World." Connection with chocolate? Chocolate has an anti depressive effect and create a good feeling after someone tastes it. The same thing implies for the red light district. At least according the guide.
Last visit was a liqueur production place in an invisible place from the main street but when we were inside they have quite large rooms with a nice garden. They produce thousand sort of liqueurs and of course in these two weeks they created a chocolate liqueur. A fine drink for a windy early evening in Amsterdam.