Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cocoa tasting at Teck Guan cocoa museum

If you have a passion for the so-called ‘food of the god’s’ a.k.a chocolate, then a trip to the Teck Guan Cocoa Museum in the city of Tawau is definitely recommended.  Situated on the south-east coast of Sabah, Tawau is the state’s third largest urban center after the cities like Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan.
Tawau which is surrounded by the waters of the Celebes Sea, is renowned for its endless supply of fresh seafood, though the city has in recent times also emerged as a popular destination for agro-tourism for it is home to various attractions like the Balung Eco Resort, the Tawau Hills Park and the home of chocolate, the Teck Guan Cocoa Museum.

The Teck Guan Cocoa Museum is accessible via a forty minute drive from the city of Tawau. This small shop cum museum serves as a poster child for the area’s many cocoa plantations, who currently supply their wares to various global chocolate-producing giants like Nestle, Cadbury and Mars amongst others.

The Teck Guan Cocoa Museum was founded in 2002, to showcase the booming cocoa industry in Sabah. Cocoa trees, however, were not grown in Malaysia, until the mid-1950 when it was discovered that volcanic black soil found in various parts of the country coupled with Malaysia’s tropical climate, were favorable factors conducive to the cultivation of cocoa. Today, the region around Tawau abounds with cocoa plantations.

The Teck Guan Cocoa museum through its displays and exhibits catalogues the history and development of the cocoa industry in Tawau and the rest of Malaysia. Located on the premises of the museum, is a small auditorium which is used to show visitors a short documentary on the history on the processing of cocoa and the production chocolate in Malaysia.  The museum which is the only one of its kind in Malaysia also has onsite a cocoa processing plant and a manufacturing unit. So you shouldn’t be surprised, if you are enveloped in the heady aroma of chocolate, the moment you step into the museum.
After a tour of the museum and the showing of the documentary, visitors are usually invited to sample the factory’s various chocolate products which include chocolate popcorn, chocolate jam, instant hot chocolate and various other chocolate based products, which are also offered for sale.
So if your foodie passions involve dreams about chocolate, the delectable cocoa tastings at Teck Guan museum are a definite must-do on any trip to Sabah.
Teck Guan Factory/Museum,
Mile 2, Tanjung Batu Laut,
Opening hours
Monday to Friday: 8am to 5pm
Saturday: 8am to 1pm
Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays

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