Hello! My name is Angélica, and I make chocolate. Yes, I make chocolate but perhaps not in the way that most people make chocolate. My life journey has influenced a lot the way I experience cacao. What do I mean by this? Many things. For example, my academic background has nothing to do with the culinary arts, and maybe that defines the way I understand things.
I'm Mexican, from the state of Veracruz. My hometown, Xalapa, has the country's second-largest anthropology museum, which displays Olmec art. Why is this important? Because the Olmecs were the first civilization to work with cacao and (theoretically) give origin to the word *kakaw(a). If you want to nerd into the language rabbit hole, you can read more about it here.
So, yes, I'm Angelica, I make chocolate, but I've been working as a translator since 2006. In 2022 I took a course on Historical linguistics to learn about language reconstruction. My interest in chocolate (pronounced [ˈtʃɑklət] in English) is also etymological because I'm not satisfied with how dictionaries define it. And perhaps I didn't have to start another language degree and take a Classical Nahuatl course to understand more. But my scientific spirit wasn't at peace. I'm still working on academic research to learn how people talked about cacao thousands of years ago.
And yes, going back to my scientific spirit, perhaps I should add that many years ago, I studied Physics. I know Physics is not Chemistry. My point is that I'm not afraid of graphs, math, and scientific journals. Reading research about the crystallization of cacao butter, for example, helped me to understand molecules and tempering differently. I feel like I know cacao micro- and macroscopically.
However, my motivation for making chocolate in Norway has nothing to do with science or linguistics but ethics. I'm beyond SHOCKED about how little Norwegian consumers know about cacao, cacao production, and *shock alert* the inclusion of child labor. It comes in the news now and then, and people get shocked for about 3 seconds before taking a bite of their yellow bar to forget about it.
So, why does Cacaoland exist? Because I want to educate. Whether someone wants to learn about history, etymology, chemistry, or business, I'm continuously learning to share with others the best way to eat chocolate, respecting Earth and those who live on it. I realize I've embarked on a journey that probably will never end. And as long as you want to learn about cacao, hopefully, I'll be of help.
Thanks for reading!