Welcome to Shangri-La's Best-kept Secret "La Tierra Del Chocolate"
Attention Chocolate Lovers! Indulge yourself through an extraordinary journey of The Land of Chocolate at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, a cultural and gastronomic experience surrounding the country’s treasure that highlights the distinct nuances of Philippine Cacao.
The best-kept secret “La Tierra del Chocolate / The Land of Chocolate “by Shangri-La launched last July 23,2018 , the resort embarks on an exclusive journey to recreates a series of gracious traditions that span sunrise to sunset, from the native sikwate (hot chocolate) traditionally served in the morning, to chocolate high tea that goes beautifully with a leisurely afternoon, and finally to signature chocolate martinis with cacao-infused vodka that end the evening on a memorably pleasant note.
The Land of Chocolate
Nestled in the heart of Shangri-La’s paradise, La Tierra del Chocolate a quaint garden hideaway boasting of its own cacao farm and chocolate-making facilities, where chocolate sommeliers heartily prepare signature chocolate-rooted creations.
The guests who wish to tour the garden will get to know the methods behind the art of making tablea with the guidance of its chocolate sommeliers- who went through rigorous studies and formally trained under the supervision of the Chocolate Queen of Cebu ‘Racquel Choa’, who led them through the cacao farm in the mountains of Cebu. The tour includes the chance to discover the native cacao (sikwate) from different regions: Cebu, Bohol and Davao.
The Cacao Tour Steps
Be captivated with the traditional way of making tablea (cacao liquor) as you go on a journey in the garden.The Guests are guided through an astonishing experience, where Chocolate Sommeliers narrate and demonstrate the traditional steps of creating chocolate out from cacao beans.
It takes 4 to 5 years for the tress to produce flowers, which then turn into cacao pods. When harvesting, the pods are split open and the beans scooped out.
The beans are then fermented, giving them their rich taste. It traditionally involves drying the beans under the sun or by the use of an oven. Fermentation takes 5 to 6 days.
Once dried, the beans are ready for roasting. The bigger beans are placed first, followed by the smaller ones on top. Hint: the beans will make a popping sound once cooked!
The next step is removing the outer shell of the bean, leaving the "meat", otherwise known as the cocoa nibs.
The traditional way of breaking the beans uses a lusong (mortar)and alho (pastle). Beans are pounded until a paste called tablea (cacao liquor) is createrd. Tablea is used to make sikwate (native hot chocolate).
The chocolate is then mixed and stirred for an extended period of time to develop its taste, smell and texture.
To make the final product glossy,smooth and crispy, the chocolate is heated, cooled and heated again.
Sikwate or Hot Chocolate Made from Tablea
Tsokolate is traditionally served in silver pots with a batirol that is used to mix the drink. A batirol is a traditional wooden tool used to mix the drink before serving, as bits of tablea may sink to the bottom of the pot. A batirol is used by holding the handle between the palms of one's hands, then rubbing one's palms together. This method mixes the drink thoroughly and creates a light froth on top.
- Swirl the cup. This is for the temperature to cool. Old folklore believes that blowing on the sikwate attracts evil spirits.
- Smell the aroma. Did you know that the smell of sikwate relaxes the brain? It releases endorphins or happy hormones, easily uplifting your mood.
- Sip and swirl. Sip and swirl. Sip, swirl in your mouth for two seconds, then swallow. This way, you can taste the bitter, floral, and earthy notes of the sikwate.
Chocolate High Tea
Experience Chocolate High Tea at the lobby of the
resort, variety of flavors artistically made by Shangri-La’s pastry chefs.
|Cacao Garden Tour ( recommended time for the tour 3:00-4:00 pm )||Php- 974.23 (per person)|
|Chocolate High Tea at the lobby||Php- 1083.69 (good for 2 persons)|