Did you know that Peru is a manufacturer and exporter of cocoa beans? The USA, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and other countries purchase Peruvian cocoa beans to produce the chocolate and the export of the beans increases every year.
Although at present Peru produces considerably less cocoa beans than in other countries - the leaders of this sector of industry - the Peruvian beans have certain advantages:
Peru is one of the main producers of the organic cocoa beans in the world.
Peruvian cacao beans are very delicious. In 2010 Peru won a prestigious award from the Salon du Chocolat in Paris for the most aromatic cacao beans.
The “chocolate” bars, i.e. pure cocoa paste can be bought in shops and markets. One 200gr (0.44 lb) chocolate bar costs 4-8 Soles (1.5-2.5 USD) in the market, which makes about 15-20 cups of hot chocolate.
The hot chocolate is made very simply: take a small piece of cocoa paste, pour a little amount of water, heat till the cocoa melts, then add milk and sugar as you like.
In an expensive restaurant a cup of delicious chocolate is about 7 Soles (2.5 USD). You better not to try it in cheaper places – they use some strange (probably old) milk and the chocolate tastes awful.
Museum of chocolate
In chocolate museum in Cusco you will learn about the process of making chocolate and even try the chocolate bars or hot chocolate. The museum organizes workshops where people can learn how to make their own chocolate and offers tours to cacao plantations.
Website of the museum: http://peru.chocomuseo.com/
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