Eco-Retreat & Permaculture Center on the Big Island

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Dr. Nat Bletter

Dr. Nat Bletter has 18 years of experience in botany, documenting and growing exotic fruits and vegetables, gathering food in the wild, herbal and traditional medicine, and exploring Asia, South America, Central America, and Africa. He has a Ph.D. in Ethnobotany from the City University of New York and New York Botanical Garden, where he researched medicinal plants of Peru, Mali, and the Guatemalan Mayans, ethnobotany, taste-modifying plants, food plants of Thailand and Laos, and stimulant plants such as cacao, which has spurred him to start a traditional-ingredient, high-antioxidant, artisanal chocolate company Madre Chocolate.

At Madre Chocolate, Nat has been the “Flavormeister” since 2010 and created the multi-time International Chocolate Awards recipient, the Triple Cacao chocolate bar. His work to create fermentation programs for farmers in Hawaii, Dominican Republic, Papua New Gunea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, and Fiji has also helped propel multiple single-origin chocolates from Hawaii onto the international stage. These include the Hawi Criollo, Likao Kula and the most recent Cacao of Excellence World Finalist, Nine Fine Mynah Estates.

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