Orquidea Chocolate from Peru: a taste & setting as beautiful as its namesake

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

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25 Responses

  1. You take good notes (and pics), D. That’s pretty much how I remember it, but you’ve added some details that I think your audience will find fascinating.

  2. Doreen
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    says:

    Thanks, Virginia. I do indeed take detailed notes (except when I’m trekking thru the jungle!) It was so great having you along on this journey of chocolate exploration. Your insights are different than mine, coming from your scientific background. So it was always great hearing your questions and comments on everything we learned.

  3. Linda Strange says:

    Wow! I get the sensation of being there with you, from your descriptions. I’d almost swear I was sniffing as you tell us about the nose of this chocolate. Love the photos.
    LL

    • Doreen
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      says:

      Thanks so much, Linda. Glad to have you along on the virtual journey with us.

      Yes, I was so very impressed with the aromatic qualities of this chocolate. You better get out to Matlock quickly! The stash is very quickly diminishing.

  4. Cheryl
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    says:

    It’s Cheryl from LinkedIn. I have a secret thing going on with dark chocolate. Your site is like heaven!

    • Doreen
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      Glad to indulge your secret pleasure, Cheryl. And this is just a tease! The book will have a lot more juicy and enticing tidbits to feed your passion. Stay tuned!

  5. Susan Cooper
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    OK, I am now hooked. I’m now off to buy some of this amazing sounding chocolate. I also so want to visit Peru and see this amazing place for myself … Sigh … someday. But at least I can get the chocolate. :D, Susan Cooper
    Susan Cooper recently posted…My Favorite Reads & Drawing ToolsMy Profile

    • Doreen
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      says:

      Right on, Susan! I hope that whatever you receive from Orquidea will taste as wonderful and fresh as what I ate on-site at the factory. If you do get some, let me know how you like it.

  6. Of all of the chocolate you’ve described, or brought for tasting, this one sounds the most intriguing. I can’t wait to sample some–or just order it!
    Your pictures are gorgeous, and the way you’ve described not only the chocolate making process, but everything really puts me there. What wonderful experiences you’ve had on this journey. I can’t wait to read this book where you put them all together.

    • Doreen
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      says:

      Thanks so much, Christine.

      I do feel the interest in the book and the momentum building. It’s been a long time coming, but I feel it’s finally drawing near. Thanks so much for your support.

  7. Doreen, thank you so much for your kind words. It is always wonderful for me to know that I am not just partial to our chocolates and that they are that truly amazing to other chocolate lovers as well!

    You are right about the flavor of chocolate being directly affected by the type of bean and very specifically the type of post harvest management. That is to say, the fermentation process. The growing, harvesting, fermentation, roasting and processing of the cocoa bean is extremely technical. It is truly a science that goes into producing an exceptional chocolate. I think that often times we depend on a label or a brand to tell us that we are eating a “good” chocolate, but it is really hard to say unless you know what sort of care and handling those beans have had. This is why bean to bar factories are so popular with chocolate lovers. We do focus on this important aspect of the chocolate making process.

    Peru does have a very special kind of cocoa and there is great pride in agricultural products in general. With your encouragement, I will be sharing more in detail some of my experiences in the cocoa industry in Peru. Our trip together was wonderful and are the sorts of experiences and knowledge worthy of sharing! Thank you for the nudge! My brand new blog is “www.cocoaperu.com”.

    Always look forward to reading your next post! Thanks again for your sharing your positive impressions of Peru and our chocolate!

    Cristina

    • Doreen
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      Lovely to hear from you, Cristina!

      I’m so glad you have started your own blog to tell the world about the wonders of Peruvian chocolate. Together … we’ll spread the word!

    • Hey, nice to find you on Doreen’s blog, Cristina, and congrats on launching your own. FYI, our Italian grocer (but not our Peruvian one !) is now stocking organic ginger from Peru. It is out of this world with flavour, even after travelling that long distance.

  8. Sarah Lantry says:

    Hi Doreen

    Thank you for a really inspiring post. The Orquidea Chocolate factory sounds amazing and I want to jump on a plane and visit too!

    It’s always good to hear about companies with a strong social conscience and I’m going to do some research to see whether their chocolate has reach UK shores yet.

    The chocolate with nibs sounds divine, and nibs are something I put in my raw chocolate too …that added crunch and richness is just magic …and it’s always good to celebrate that chocolate is a superfood, with amazing super powers, and I just love being liberated and empowered by the foods that I eat!

    Thanks again,
    Sarah

    • Doreen
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      says:

      Thanks so much for joining the blog, Sarah. I hope you’ll stick around for future posts, as I’ll also be visiting an organic cacao cooperative in Ecuador in future posts that produces delicious, healthy chocolate as well. As you and I both know, chocolate is and can be good for you in addition to tasting divine!

      By the way, I’m very sure you can get Orquidea Chocolate in the UK as they are definitely marketing/selling in Europe. If you have trouble with the other site listed in the article, try e-mailing info@cacaointernational.com. That comes from the Swedish site (no English on the site) but that is the website shown on one of the Orquidea bars I have. Good luck!

  9. Doreen — what a great journey you’re on to these chocolate factories. Such an interesting story. I just learned a new tip this past week — to spread pure cocoa on steak before grilling or broiling it. Adds to the taste and holds the juices in. Of course, you’ll never experience the rich chocolate flavor you’re raving about.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Delta Needs a New Brand Name for “Economy Comfort” ClassMy Profile

  10. Doreen
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    says:

    Hi Jeannette! Nice to have you join the conversation.

    Interesting about the cocoa on steak. I hadn’t heard that one before, but it makes sense, as I know some people put cocoa in their gravy.

    Chocolate makes the world go round!

  11. Ohmy, I would love to live there for the rest of my life. LOL. I’m feening for chocolates everyday! Everybody loves them, they’re my guilty pleasure!
    Courtney Palmer recently posted…Green Clean: The Eco-Friendly Laundry RoomMy Profile

    • Doreen
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      says:

      Thanks for joining us here, Courtney.

      Glad you share my enthusiasm in the quest for great chocolate. And yes, Peru is a terrific place to begin your search. Amazing chocolate at every turn. And the food! AWESOME! Stay tuned for more.

  12. Shane says:

    You are so lucky to see the entire process of making chocolate from cocoa beans with your own eyes. How I wish I will be able to do the same.
    Shane recently posted…jamplay guitar videosMy Profile

    • Doreen
      Twitter:
      says:

      Yes, I am very lucky, Shane. My journeys over the past 2.5 years have been most enlightening … and tasty!

      I will be sharing them all with you in my upcoming book, so stay tuned! You will be able to take those journeys with me, literally at first, and perhaps on chocolate tours in the future.

      Thanks for joining us here on the blog. I hope you will subscribe and stick around.

  13. analy says:

    nice post and i love to visit to orquidea, i love cacao. specially when it is fresh. also we have some grown cacao here.

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