Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, hot chocolate or chocolate brownies … in whichever form you prefer enjoying this moreish confection, it all starts with the humble cocoa bean – concealed inside the seed pods of the Theobroma cacao tree (meaning ‘food of the gods’). No surprises there. And Rococoa chocolaterie and coffee shop celebrates this much-loved commodity by offering visitors the ultimate experience at their chocolate wonderland.
Being obsessed with chocolate and not ashamed to admit it, I was especially looking forward to Rococoa’s Chocolate Appreciation tour (one of a range on offer). Stepping inside, the interior is aptly decorated in tones of brown, orange and brick red, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. On the walls, catch phrases such as ’If it ain’t chocolate, it ain’t breakfast’ can be seen – echoing the thoughts of all true chocolate lovers.
Rococoa chocolatier Gabi Soule guided the group through the museum, complete with a chocolate timeline display that tells the story behind chocolate and how the Spanish found cocoa while searching for gold. There’s also a replica of a cocoa plantation, and a 17th-century cocoa processing kitchen that boasts a number of vintage items.
We then moved into the chocolate production area, where Rococoa brings to life its masterful creations made from locally-sourced as well as the finest imported Belgian chocolate. On display are a life-sized chocolate chess set, along with other sculptured pieces. Those who fancy trying their hand at crafting their own edible works of art can attend one of the chocolate-modelling, truffle-making or cake-decorating classes.
And what would a chocolate appreciation tour be without trying some, right? We were presented with three variations each of dark and milk chocolate, and our palettes were put to the test to identify which ones were locally made, commercial and imported. After playing connoisseur, we all indulged in a delicious wafer cone with the option of either a milk or dark chocolate centre from the liquid chocolate fountain.
Still in the mood for more chocolate? Choose one of the tempting options on the breakfast or lunch menus, which offer a variety of tantalising chocolate-inspired dishes, desserts, and hot and cold beverages. The eggs Benedict and salmon, served on a toasted cocoa brioche, as well as the signature Rococoa hot chocolate are firm favourites.
Before leaving, and not yet ready to come down from my chocolate high, I grabbed some goodies on sale in store to take home and tide me over until my next visit to this chocolate heaven.
Bookings must be made for tours, classes and to host functions. Contact Rococoa for pricing and availability.
When Monday to Friday, 7 am – 5pm, Saturday 8am – 2pm
Where The Palms, 146 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock
Cost R120 for Chocolate Appreciation tour/ Breakfast and lunch menu dishes range between R50 and R70/ Hot and cold beverages range between R20 and R30
Contact +27 21 461 2301, [email protected], www.rococoa.co.za
Photography courtesy Roshaan Patel, Rococoa