Phong Dien District, Can Tho city is popular for fruit gardens of all kinds such as Ha Chau berries, oranges, tangerines, milkapple (quả vú sữa), mangosteen, apples, guava, etc. Once travel to Can Tho, Muoi Cuong Cocoa garden is one of the must-see destination in Can Tho to discover the fruits’ garden. Especially, Muoi Cuong is popular for Cocoa which the fruit to make famous chocolate which is grown in Vietnam.
The first impression at the garden is the fresh atmosphere – a 60 years old cocoa farm and both experience the process of making, enjoy and buy the Cocoa products. Therefore, Muoi Cuong cocoa farm is becoming the hot spot in Can Tho City.
Where is Muoi Cuong Cocoa Garden?
Located in My Ai Hamlet, My Khanh Commune, Phong Dien District, Can Tho City
From Can Tho city centre, you travel to the direction of Cai Rang bridge, along the provincial road 923 more than 10 kilometers.
The road to Muoi Cuong cocoa farm is also quite easy to travel. You just need to follow Nguyen Van Cu Street to the My Khanh resort and Truc Lam Phuong Nam Zen. It is located on the same road as Ong De Tourist Area, Chin Hong Fruit Garden. Refer to Google Maps Cocoa Park in Muoi Cuong Can Tho.
The garden is very famous in the region so you just ask the local people and then they will show you the road to reach.
What’s in Can Tho cocoa farm?
If you have chance to travel to Can Tho cocoa farm, you will visit the farm with many perennial trees which cover the shade in the garden and make it cool all day. Visit the garden; you can also have the opportunity to discover the traditional making and tasting chocolate.
This is the first cocoa farm in Can Tho and Mekong Delta Region with the area of 1.2 ha. At this moment, the cocoa trees are grown by biotechnology so Mr Muoi Cuong limits to use fertilizers or pesticides in the farm. Covering the small road lead to the farm is two sides with green trees. The farm has more than 2,000 trees and about 15 kinds of cocoa trees and some of them with the age of 30 to 40 years old. It is very ideal space for relaxing and enjoying in countryside after work.
Especially, you can choose homestay at the garden for your overnight accommodation when staying in Can Tho and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere at the farm with the small and large fruits. The homestay has four rooms with peaceful space for your sleeping here.
Also, travel here you can see the process to make cocoa into chocolate with many stages. The cocoa pods will be fermented after picking, and then it has many processes of roasting and processing. The products are diversity from raw cocoa to cocoa powder or you can make lotion. Especially, Muoi Cuong farm use the traditional techniques to make chocolate. You can taste cocoa wine which is procedured at the farm.
History of Muoi Cuong cocoa farm
As Mr Muoi Cuong share, the cocoa trees at Muoi Cuong farm had since 1960 when his tree was still strange in Vietnam. The local people brought it back Vietnam to grow however, the climate was not suitable so it didn’t grow well. Most farmers deleted it, but Mr Muoi Cuong decided to keep it and researched its characters from booked from France. After a lot of difficulties, finally, he succeeds in growing it.
And then he started to grow in the farm 300 trees. The cocoa tree takes from 2 years to 2.5 years to have the first fruits.
At the first stage of growing the cocoa mainly used fresh cocoa fruit to mix with the drinking water as juice fruit. After that, he found the booked which show the techniques to make cocoa pods, chocolate, etc. And then he applied it and gradually success in making its products as today.
When Cargill expanded the planting and technology for Vietnamese farmers, they then will buy these products and bring cocoa to Europe for producing chocolate. Mr Muoi Cuong also brought more tools to make chocolate from cocoa trees in his farm.
Now, Muoi Cuong’s farm uses bio-planting rather than chemical fertilizers or pesticides such as using weaver ants as natural enemies to treat insects.
How to eat and make from fresh cocoa?
After picking the fresh cocoa from the tree, cocoa will be separated the beans, fermented, dried, roasted and then peeled. The coarse seeds, after removing the silk cover, they will be milled with a stone mortar. Furthermore, the workers have many handy processes to make cocoa butter, cocoa powder, cocoa wine or dark chocolate. All cocoa fruits are used, no waste anything. The other parts during the procedure process are used as organic fertilizers for plants in the farm.
When you separate the cocoa fruit, you will see the white cocoa beans inside. We use this white to make delicious juices with milk and ice.
The outer part of the cocoa bean has a sweet and sour taste, chewy and slightly sticky to the teeth. After eating the seeds, we can ferment them, dry and fried it to make cocoa powder.
How to annealing cocoa seeds?
Leave the banana leaf around a bamboo basket, fill full cocoa seeds and then cover closely the basket. After two days annealing, let mix the seeds by changing from this basket into another basket many times. The size of the bamboo basket is from 10 to 150 kilograms of seeds. The time of annealing is from five to seven days. However, the annealing is the most difficult process of Cocoa, so you should ask the experience from experienced people to have the best process.
At Muoi Cuong Farm, cocoa fruits are picking seeds at the right process. After fermenting the seeds, they will be fried and then you can separate the cocoa seed coat by hand. The seed coat has 20 percent so it is removed before making next stage in making chocolate. The seed will be made smaller before mincing it. The cocoa seed will be put in liquor while mincing and give it slowly until it becomes loose. This process takes around five to ten minutes.
After the cocoa seeds become liquid, you should let the cocoa cool before pouring it into the mold to put it in the refrigerator. After placing in the refrigerator from 30 to 60 minutes, you can take the chocolate out of the mold and enjoy it.
Where to grow cocoa much in Vietnam?
Cocoa is the tree kind which suits for tropical climate. It is widen many provinces in Vietnam. The trees give fruits after two years. However, the cocoa trees are grown in Tay Nguyen where has the ideal climate to grow it and sweet fruits. This tree has the height of four to eight meter with the shade from other trees higher. Therefore, the cocoa tree has the grown mix with many trees such as coconut, rubber, forest trees, etc to increase the efficiency of land using and make the most of available resources. And today, cocoa trees are also grown a lots in southwest Vietnam such as Can Tho City where has Muoi Cuong farm.
Opening hours: 7:00 – 12:00.
Phone number: 0939427589.
Address: My Khanh, Phong Dien, Can Tho, Vietnam.
Entrance Ticket price: 50,000 VND/per person. This includes visiting the cocoa farm, drinking cocoa, enjoying a chocolate sample and learning about the process of making cocoa.
Note that: Mr. Muoi Cuong’s health is no longer good and the processing of chocolate is not every day.