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.
One of the product on a shelf. Don’t ask me about the taste, I didn’t buy it:
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.
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:
When you cut the plant this is what it looks like:
Cocoa seeds after roasting (in the shop in Lima):
You could taste them… no, disgusting!
A very interesting poster showing the contents of different kinds of chocolate.
The meaning of the colours:
brown: cocoa licor
green: cocoa butter
lime green: milk
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.
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: