Chocolate isn't just another treat in St. Lucia – in fact, it plays a major role in the island's history, economy & tourism. Not only that, but the single-estate chocolate has a unique flavor, much like wines from different vineyards. So it goes without saying that if you're taking a luxury vacation to the island, you'll want to delve a little deeper into the significance of cocoa & get a taste of the local confections. Whether you're a chocoholic or are fascinated by the process, you're bound to be amazed by the plantation tours & decadent flavors of the varieties produced here.
From cocoa-infused spa treatments to chocolate-focused menus, there is no shortage of sweet experiences on the island. Here's what you need to know:
Take a tour There are a multitude of plantations on the island where you can get a closer look at the process of chocolate-making, from the harvesting of the cacao pods to the packaging of the bars.
Jade Mountain, a top St. Lucia hotel, is a unique resort that is committed to chocolate connoisseurship, making it an ideal place to stay or visit on a trip. The resort produces all organic chocolate from the Anse Mamin Plantation's Emerald Estate. Single-estate chocolate is already the highest quality you can find on the island, but Jade Mountain's confections are a cut above the rest, with James Beard-winning consulting chef Allen Susser helping to concoct the confections. It's definitely worth taking one of the complimentary Bean-To-Bar Tours to get a richer understanding – & taste – of the varieties made here. If you do decide to stay at this resort, don't forget to stop by the on-site Kai En Ciel spa for an ultra luxurious Chocolate Delight skin treatment, too.
Take part in a tradition People in many cultures start their day with tea – & in St. Lucia, the breakfast beverage is even more delicious with the addition of cocoa. Originally made as a cheaper alternative to imported tea leaves or coffee, the drink is made by grating a cocoa stick into hot water infused with spices. The tea can range in consistency from watery to a thicker, dessert-like porridge, & is easily found in many St. Lucia cafes, restaurants & shops. You can also find this comforting drink at the Castries Market, which is open Monday to Saturday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. All day, vendors steep vast quantities of cinnamon, nutmeg, bay leaves & grated cocoa to keep the tradition alive.