We found out the Choco Museu is actually in Lima, Cusco, and Ollantaytambo- All places we’d be! When we looked at schedules we decided to fit it in Ollantaytambo after visiting the ruins. It really was perfect timing to do it this way! Ruins all afternoon, a little city exploring, and then a chocolate making class from 4:00-7:00, with a little dinner after.
I can’t recommend this enough! We were downright giddy about this class.
We also learned the Incans were the first to use it, and that the beans were so precious they were used as currency. Five beans could buy you a livestock animal of your choice. They really felt it was a gift from the Gods, which we irreverently commemorated by this mural.
We started out by choosing a handful of beans, and learning how to roast them.
After they are roasted you need to shell them. But guess what, not even the shells are wasted! They make a tea that tastes like a chocolate bar with just water and shells. It was really good!
We wanted to prove we did our share of shelling- it was no easy task!
The beans are then put in a mortar and pestle and ground into cocoa powder.
They then taught us how to make two kinds of hot chocolate- the Incan kind…
Which they usually put blood in. Our fabulous teacher Liz asked Jacob to volunteer and he was ready to donate! She laughed pretty hard and let him know she was teasing. I’m still glad I caught the ready and willing Jacob in a picture.
After the spicy Incan hot chocolate we were introduced to the Spanish style hot chocolate. If the Spaniards gave the Incans one thing while they were conquering their country, it was the introduction to adding sugar and cream to beverages. Maybe not quite an even trade, but after drinking this amazing stuff the jury was still out for me.
From there we learned about chocolates and chocolate bars, and what percent of cocoa butter, sugar, cream, and chocolate go together. It made me feel so proud I’m a dark fan through and through- I am getting the most bang for my buck!
From there the proper amount of ingredients go through these machines for hours. We used the last class’s stuff so we would have time to pour our own chocolates.
They provided all kinds of options to make custom chocolates.
And then we carefully dipped and stirred in the ingredients. For the record, the salt from their local salt pools combined with the fresh dark chocolate is the stuff of the Gods.
We left two very happy people with treats we enjoyed throughout our trip.
And for the record, I am now ruined and American chocolate will never taste the same. I even told Jacob I’m ready to make it my life mission to get chocolate un-ruined in the United States. The Chocolate Revolution of 2014- who is with me?
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