“For this purpose they have a broad, smooth stone, well polished or glazed very hard, and being made fit in all respects for their use, they grind the cacaos thereon very small, and when they have so done, they have another broad stone ready, under which they keep a gentle fire.
“A more speedy way for the making up of the cacao into chocolate is this: They have a mill made in the form of some kind of malt-mills, whose stones are firm and hard, which work by turning, and upon this mill are ground the cacaos grossly, and then between other stones they work that which is ground yet smaller, or else by beating it up in a mortar bring it into the usual form.”
A later writer remarks of this process:
“The Indians, from whom we borrow it, are not very nice in doing it; they roast the kernels in earthen pots, then free them from their skins, and afterwards crush and grind them between two stones, and so form cakes of it with their hands.”
[Illustration—Drawing: A MEXICAN METATE, OR GRINDING STONE.]
And, further on, in speaking of the Spaniards’ mode of preparation, he says:
“They put them (the kernels) into a large mortar to reduce them to a gross powder, which they afterwards grind upon a stone. They make choice of a stone which naturally resists the fire, from sixteen to eighteen inches broad, and about twenty-seven or thirty long and three in thickness, and hollowed in the middle about one inch and a half deep. Under this they place a pan of coals to heat the stone, so that the heat makes it easy for the iron roller to make it so fine as to leave neither lump nor the least hardness.”
At the present day, when the beans are plentiful on the cacao estates, but no machines for manufacture exist, the planters prepare a palatable drink by roasting the beans on a moving shovel or pan over the open fire, husking them by the time-honoured plan of tossing in the breeze, and grinding out on a flat stone in much the same manner as did the old Spaniards. The writer has even seen a little tobacco-press ingeniously adapted for the purpose of extracting the butter, the invention of Mr. J.H. Hart, of the Trinidad Botanical Gardens, a gentleman who has done much in the direction of investigating the best cacao for seed, and the most favourable methods of cultivation.
BOURNVILLE WORKS SUGGESTION SCHEME.
The objects in view are:
1. To encourage our employes to make all the suggestions they can for the mutual welfare of the business and everyone connected with it. Even the smallest suggestion may be of value.
2. To enable those in our employ to share in the benefit of the suggestions they make, and to receive personal recognition for them.