We have made chocolate ourselves!
But let´s start at the beginning. Cocoa comes from the Andes (Peru, Ecuador, ..) and was cultivated by the locals already 1000 years ago. However, they prepared it with water and chili – which is not bad, too! The chocolate, as we know it, was developed in Europe.
In Cusco, there is a Choco Museum where, besides a few information and exhibits, chocolate production workshops can be visited. That’s what we did.
First we got different chocolate types to tast. I have to admit that the “big” differences are not that noticeable for me – I like more the milk chocolate fan and the tastes were all bitter chocolate (to taste the flavors better?!).
Then we started. Everyone could choose 6 cocoa beans. These were then roasted together in a clay pot for about 10 minutes.
After the roasting, everyone was allowed to take 6 beans again and peel them. Then, the beans were crushed in a mortar until the powder was “wet” through the cocoa.
…and served with hot water and chili powder. Quite similare to that what Inka, Maya and all the others where used to make,
Next, with the addition of cinnamon, some sugar and cocoa butter, the remaining powder was processed to hot chocolate. It tastes more bitterly than what we have with us the children, but actually better!
Afterwards we were told how to produce chocolate. Really try was not possible, as it takes about about 24 hours of heating and “rolling” to get chocolate (to let the remaining water as acids disappear). This would have spoiled the duration of the workshop.
In the last half hour we were allowed to make our own chocolates pieces. In addition to the choice of milk or bitter chocolate, there were various nuts, smartis, Oreo, sugar sprinkles, spices and much more.
Everyone was allowed to choose a form and choose the fillings as desired and pour them over with chocolate.
After about 30 minutes in the refrigerator everyone has been allowed to take their chocolate bars.