In case you haven’t heard, dark chocolate, or pure cacao, is one of the latest health kicks here in the US. I had began to hear about pure cacao beans and/or nibs prior to my trip to the Philippines late last year. I even purchased some, and have begun adding them to my green smoothies and my hot cereal in the morning. They aren’t sweet, but I like them a lot.

While visiting Davao and Samal Island last year I got to take a trip to Bankerohan Market where we enjoyed the local favorite of sikwate. Sikwate (or sekwate) is a hot drink made from the pure cacao beans. I also picked up some of the cacao tablets for my trip back home. That was my first time to try the hot chocolate drink made of this pure cacao, and it was quite a treat for me.

When I returned home I decided to research the tablets a little further. I even got to the point of trying to import some for resale, but unfortunately I could not find a way to make that work because of the shipping costs, in addition to some other issues I had to deal with.

The tablets I found out are called tabilya, tablea, tabelya, or any variety of spellings. They are all basically the same thing, which is the pure cacao bean that is roasted and then ground into tablets. The tablets can vary in size, and are produced from many different companies. The one that I was looking to import was Dalareich Tableya which is made in Bohol. I look forward to trying it, and bringing some home with me on my trip this year. Dal has been great to deal with, and very helpful in my attempts to figure out whether I could import their tableya.

As I continue to enjoy cacao nibs, I have seen that the countries of origin vary from Venezuela to Ecuador to Peru. I don’t see Philippine cacao beans or nibs as readily available here. As like many things there, I wonder why. It seems that cacao has been grown and used for centuries there, and they are using it throughout the country already. With the current health kick being what it is, it would seem that there would be an opportunity for one of the companies there to enter the market here with that product.

None the less, I find it encouraging that I’ll be able to continue enjoying pure cacao, and probably a lot less expensively, when I visit and then eventually retire there.

Anki Bisaya Phrasebook Flashcards