For most, eating a chocolate bar is a regular (albeit delicious) occurrence. But for a group of cocoa bean farmers on the Ivory Coast in South Africa, who had never even heard of chocolate before, eating the delicious fruits of their labor for the first time became a remarkable experience. This video from a VPRO Metropolis, a Dutch news network gives us a glimpse at their amazed reactions.
“No wonder why white people stay so healthy!” says one farmer, ironically, in the video, as he tastes the chocolate bar. The group grins from ear to ear while sampling the product that they have helped to make for most of their lives, but never actually had the opportunity to taste. Most of the farmers believed that the cocoa beans were actually used to make wine, and even asked if it made the videographer’s skin lighter.
“I did not know that cocoa tasted so yummy,” says another worker with a smile.
The joy that emanates from their faces contrasts with the grim reality that these hard workers have to face on a daily basis. After all, a chocolate bar in the Ivory Coast costs €2, while N’Da Alfonse, the worker on the plantation in the video, uses his meager salary of €7 per day to take care of 15 family members and four laborers. The Ivory Coast is the world’s largest producer of the cocoa bean, and the farmers and plantation workers who harvest the bean are at the bottom of the food chain, according to CNN. This food chain is so high, that these workers cannot even squint to see the chocolate crunch bar at the top.
“We complain because growing cocoa is hard work,” says Alfonse humbly at the end of the video. “Now we get to enjoy the result. What a privilege.”
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi