best chocolate in Mexico City
As I alluded to in the post about Las Alcobas in Mexico City, I was thrilled to spend time and taste the range of chocolate products from Chef José Ramón Castillo, the creative force behind Que Bo! Chocolatería Mexicana Evolutiva. Literally translated, “Que Bo!” means “How nice!” or “How cool!” in the Catalan language, and I have to tell you .. you will definitely find a visit to any Que Bo! chocolatería to be very cool. Where else will you find brightly-coloured chocolates shaped like lipstick ends?
my search for the best chocolate in mexico city ended here
Castillo is a leader in the development of a sophisticated new and improved Mexican chocolate which he proudly calls the evolution of Mexican chocolate. I was impressed to feel the silkiness of the chocolate in my mouth, and taste the vibrancy of the all-Mexican ingredients that make Que Bo! chocolates world class. For this very reason, I am planning a return trip to Mexico this fall to continue my exploration of the evolution of Mexican chocolate.
My favourite confection at Que Bo! is the Confit Figs dipped in 85% cocoa from the Michoacan state. This delectable chocolate treat is far more than figs dipped in chocolate. The massive Mexican figs are marinated in a mixture of molasses, cinnamon, and sugar simmered under low heat for 15 minutes. The figs are then dried for three days and enrobed in the deep dark delicious chocolate. I was told they will keep for up to a year, but we ate the last one I’d brought home from Mexico after three months, and I would hesitate to keep them any longer than that for maximum quality and flavour.
You’ll also find a delightful range of exotic flavours in Que Bo! fresh chocolate bonbons that undoubtedly cater to women, as 90% of Que Bo! customers are women. “We only think about women here, and there is nothing so female as lipstick. So our chocolates are shaped like lipsticks,” says Chef Castillo, who is 39 years old and has been working with chocolate since the age of 26.
Some of my favourite “lipstick” flavours include the hot pink Guava blended with an 85% cocoa, and the bright orange Mango blended with chilli and salt. The chocolate shells are painted in the mold, and then filled with a dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, Kosher, certified organic, vegan Mexican Supreme Quality ganache that will send your taste buds into outer space!
Que Bo! also makes the Oaxaca Collection that includes tamarin and grasshoppers that are processed the same way worms are processed for use in tequila. I have to tell you. I didn’t particularly care for that one! But I do love and respect how Castillo has created a marriage of art, culture, and culinary fascination in his chocolate creations like no other chocolatier I have met in my eight years of chocolate travels to 16 countries to date.
I visited with Chef Castillo in his Polanco location, but he has a total of five shops. One in each of these neighbourhoods: Polanco, Mercado Roma, Centro Histórico, San Ángel, and Coyoacán. With any luck, I will become a Mexico City expert, and eventually visit them all!
For all the reasons I have mentioned, I was happy to include Que Bo! Chocolate on the list I wrote for National Geographic Traveler featuring the 10 Best Chocolate Shops in the world.