The start of my visit to Peru was… delicious!
Walking the streets of Miraflores, the district of Lima, I came across a small chocolate shop-museum (more shop than a museum, to tell the truth) and I couldn’t help getting in.
“Spanish or English?”, ask me is Spanish a guy who was just about to tell me the story of how is cacao grown and what happens before you can eat a bar of chocolate.
“I speak Spanish, but I prefer English,” I answered in Spanish.
“Oh,” he nodded his head and started the story. In Spanish, of course.

The shop was really small. A few shelves, place for chocolate workshops, kitchen where chocolate was made, a TV set which played a documentary on chocolate, some poster on the walls.

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One of the product on a shelf. Don’t ask me about the taste, I didn’t buy it:czekolada
The green belt on the map below show where cocoa plants grow.When you think of the beginnings of chocolate you probably think of Mexico and the Mayas. Well, in fact the biggest producer of cocoa is Ivory Coast and Ghana.
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It was in Ghana that I saw cacao seeds for the first time. I tried them – it was disgusting, not even a bit similar to silky European chocolate we are so used to in Europe. I tried a ‘real’ chocolate in Mexico – it was a disappointment as well. I grew up knowing only European chocolate so it’s hardly surprising that this is what I like.
A Togolese seller of cocoa plant and oranges:Obraz 128
When you cut the plant this is what it looks like:
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Cocoa seeds after roasting (in the shop in Lima): czekolada
You could taste them… no, disgusting!
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A very interesting poster showing the contents of different kinds of chocolate.
The meaning of the colours:
brown: cocoa licor
green: cocoa butter
blue: sugar
lime green: milkDSC00445
I listened to all the interesting explanations and then the most important time came: time to make your own truffles. First you chose the mold – there were different shapes available and you have to decide what you want to add inside. Well, the most important fillings for me turned out to be something really characteristic for Peru: quinoa and powder of coca leaves. It was a very pleasant evening, I do recommend it if you have some spare time and want to relax.

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I don’t have a picture of chocolates I made. I thought I’d bring them home, but… I ate them before I returned.
All in all, a very pleasant evening – try it if you get a chance:
http://www.chocomuseo.com/

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  • Tonya Denmark

    How fascinating to see the origins of chocolate and how different it is to the final product. I love going on tours like these.

  • I never thought Peru would have such good chocolate, but I guess it makes sense since it is in the cocoa growing belt! I wonder what makes the Ghanaian chocolate so different to the taste buds.

  • Arzo Travels

    Haha, I think you are right. Chocolate alone is reason enough to save this beautiful place. Though I am a chocolate addict I have never known much about the production so thanks for the interesting info.

  • I did a chocolate tour in Ecuador and this brings back great memories. I love learning about food that is so delicious!

  • I loved that the guide asked your language preferences for the tour, but ended up speaking Spanish… This is so South America… lolololo
    Museu + chocolate + hands on experience = my type of trip!
    Great article!

    Nat

  • Buddy The Traveling Monkey

    I’ve been to a few cacao farms during my travels. It’s always good to see the differences between them. I didn’t get to try any Peruvian chocolate while I was there though. Next time! ;)

  • This looks so delicious. My favourite place to discover chocolate was on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. It was fascinating to see the process from growing to eating!

  • Oh yeah. You had me at chocolate. I love chocolate. I found it interesting the various levels of sugar vs cocoa. Of course my fave is milk chocolate…lol