Last month saw a very special evening indeed, when I was hosted by His Excellency the Colombian Ambassador at the country’s London embassy. The reason was to celebrate our switch to Colombian chocolate, which is just about the best decision I’ve made in ten years of Amelia Rope Chocolate.
I felt instantly at home – just as I did when I first visited his homeland. Public speaking can be a challenge, but there at the embassy it just flowed out. Somehow, the country has got into my soul as well as into my chocolate.
The evening took me back to the first time I set foot on Colombian soil.
MY FIRST EXPERIENCE OF COLOMBIA
My first visit came thanks to the Colombian Trade Commission in September 2014, an initiative supported by the government to encourage trade.
They introduced us to a room full of tables, where people showed their wares – a bit like a speed-dating agency (or so I’m told!) Of course I was there with chocolate in mind, and was instantly drawn to the cocoa farmers themselves. The appeal was to get my hands on a unique product available to no-one else, straight from the source –– so I made my rounds.
Every person behind the chocolate had a compelling story. They were from all over Colombia, and brought all sorts of amazing chocolate. I don’t know what they put in it, but as soon as I left I instantly wanted to go back.
Next time I’ll write about what happened when I did.