Sunday, February 10, 2013

The history of the Philippines (with Chocolate)

Last week we began a unit about Chocolate. We took the road less traveled and used it as an opportunity to learn about Cacao farming and it’s place in Philippines history. For those new to our blog: you can read about our family's heritage here.

Our inspiration was a bar of Askinosie chocolate. On the front of this uniquely package chocolate is big text stating that it was sourced from Davao, Philippines. At the time I wasn’t aware that Chocolate was one of the country's exports.  After a quick web search I learnt that the Davao region grew 70-80% of the 10,000 Tons of cacao the Philippines produced last year (source).

It took a bit of research but it evolved into a  perfect opportunity for Miss K to learn about the history of the Philippines. I wrote out the key events in the Country's history, and the history of Cacao. There was also a lot of information on recent initiatives to increase production of Cacao beans and support of Davao farmers. Miss K cut out all the events and ordered them by date. What started out as a two foot long time line, end up measuring nearly 8 feet!  

We learnt a lot and Piwi Daddy was surprised at how much Miss K had absorbed about the same same subject that he had been bored by in school. To be honest I, too, would have a better grasp on world history if the subject of chocolate had been involved. 

As we were reading about the processing of cacao beans we came across tablea tsokalate. This is a traditional chocolate drink made by dissolving tablets made from ground cacao beans in water or milk. There are people all over the web raving about this rich foamy drink!
Our favorite was this virtual Experience making tablea in Palo 

Apparently Askinosie chocolate imports handmade Tablea, as a way of raising money for it's Davao charities. Now Miss K wants to try Tablea and learn more about the Farms in Davao....

Here is our attempt at grinding down cacoa beans to make our own Tablea

Books we used for this project: