The Choco Museo is a museum in Cusco that’s all about Chocolate! It’s located just 2 blocks from Cusco’s Plaza de Armas in a beautifully appointed building that boasts old European-style balconies where you can delight in a handcrafted chocolate dessert while people-watching over Plaza Regocijo below.
The museum offers galleries dedicated to the history, biology, and culture surrounding chocolate. They also offer a two- hour workshop appropriate for kids and adults, during which participants learn about chocolate “from bean to bar”.
Claire from the Apus Peru office recently participated with her 4-year-old daughter, Chloe. Claire loved the class because it was an opportunity to learn about the origin of chocolate and the chocolate production process while sampling delightful goodies along the way! Chloe loved it because she got the chance to immerse in the process: she toasted the cacao beans, chose her brightly colored fillings, and, best of all, ate as much chocolate as she could during the entire length of the class. As a matter of fact, she is still asking when she can go back!
During the chocolate class, you are guided through the whole chocolate-making process, “from bean to bar.” You prepare your own chocolate by first peeling, toasting and grinding the bean; then filling and processing it into something that resembles the finished product we know and love. You can choose the fillings of your choice, from coffee beans to almonds; from coconut to Maras salt and everything in between!
You will also be shown how to prepare “Chilate”from cacao paste. This chocolate drink is a predecessor to today’s cocoa drinks. It was first drunk by the Aztecs and Mayans of Mexico, and later by the Incas of Peru According to the staff at Chocolate Museo, the best chocolate in the world, comes from Peru and it is very quickly snapped up by the most famous chocolate producers in Switzerland.
At the end of the class, the delicious concoctions you created are packed, wrapped, and ready to go. The class is a great experience for children, if they can resist the temptation to gobble up their entire chocolate supply during the preparation process! An amazing, cultural, culinary, and deliciously ‘chocolaty’ experience, the workshop is appreciated by “children” of all ages!
Cusco province boasts an amazing jungle region where some of the best organic cacao in the world grows naturally. The cacao plant bears large yellowish to reddish pod-like fruits that have a delicious creamy white flesh. The flesh is full of ½ inch long brown seeds; these seeds are the part that are toasted and ground for use in chocolate production. It’s said that sometimes the cacao takes on a hint of mango or olive flavor when those plants are cultivated nearby.
A Choco Museo workshop usually lasts 2-3 hours, and can be a private or a group class – perfect if you have a spare half-day in Cusco. Everyone will enjoy this delightfully sweet family experience!