Peru is a perfect destination for a culturally-rich Chocolatour

If you’re interested in chocolate travel that focuses on where the cocoa is grown and an exploration of the culture and cuisine of the local farmers who grow the cocoa, Peru is a perfect destination for you. Peru is growing an increasing quantity of fine aromatic cocoa, and as a result, some of the most taste-tempting chocolate can be found in this South American country of breath-taking beauty.

Peruvian chocolate remains a personal favourite

I prefer chocolate with fruity notes in its flavour palate, so Peruvian chocolate remains one of my favourites. In previous posts, I’ve introduced you to the beautiful hand-painted chocolates of Roselen, and the tropical flavour offerings from other Peruvian chocolatiers such as Giovanna Maggiolo. In this post, I’d like to introduce you to a Peruvian coffee and chocolate cooperative that focuses on the purity of pure chocolate flavour.

naranjillo-chocolate

The Naranjillo Cooperative of Tingo, Maria, Peru, produces some great products … including chocolate!

Cooperativa Agragaria Naranjillo is located in the small city of Tingo Maria and is the largest producer of cocoa in all of Peru. We visited the factory and reception centre and learned that in addition to coffee and cocoa, farmers of the Naranjillo cooperative also produce honey and mead. We tasted the Mead Amazónic, called the “drink of love” as it is said to increase fertility and the likelihood of producing a male child.

I really enjoyed the Naranjillo milk chocolate with cocoa nibs. It was deliciously creamy, with crunchy bits of cocoa nibs to provide an interesting texture and taste. Everything Naranjillo makes is totally pure, with no added soy lecithin or vanilla added to the chocolate, and just a touch of organic cane sugar from Paraguay to take the bitter edge off the pure 100 percent organic chocolate.

Now in its 48th year of operations, there are 3,500 member farmers in the Naranjillo cooperative; 2,000 of those grow cocoa. Many also grow coffee, and I was fortunate to have been first introduced to Naranjillo chocolate a couple of years ago, when friend and coffee roaster extraordinaire Derryl Reid of Green Bean Coffee Imports returned to Manitoba from Peru with Naranjillo coffee and chocolate in hand. I still remember the intensity of tasting the pure 100% chocolate.

Naranjillo has just replaced their equipment with new pieces from around the world and continues to expand and improve their product line. They are also ready to welcome groups interested in experiential travel, so you can be sure that a return visit to Tingo Maria is high on my visit for a future group Chocolatour. We only had one night to spend at the amazing Madera Verde Tourist Hotel. How I wish we’d been there for a week!

madera-verde

The Madera Verde Tourist Hotel in Tingo Maria, Peru, is a lovely place to stay and connect with nature.

 

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.

33 Responses

  1. Doreen,
    You make chocolate sound so interesting! Peru has never been on my list of places to travel to but your photography is gorgeous and that’s piquing my interest now too.
    Sherryl Perry recently posted…Do-Follow Social Media Sites and a Filter for Facebook | FridayFindsMy Profile

  2. Charu says:

    Sounds perfect. My husband and I are very into chocolate, and we’ve written quite a bit about chocolate in our posts (e.g. Big Island Hawaii). Peru must have fine cocoa, considering chocolate was considering the food of the Gods there! I would love to visit one day.
    Charu recently posted…Florida Keys through Instagram (PHOTOS)My Profile

  3. Klaudia says:

    Excellent blog here! Also your site loads up very fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  4. Stacey says:

    Now you have really given me a good reason to go to Peru. Thanks for sharing and more power!
    Stacey recently posted…Who’s Involved In The Las Vegas Short Sale Process?My Profile

  5. modern house agents says:

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  6. Doreen says:

    Thanks for your comments, Aayna and Emilia. With any luck we will indeed take a chocolate tour (Chocolatour) together someday soon. Stay tuned to https://chocolatour.net as well for chocolate travel and touring updates.

  7. Emilia says:

    Traveling different parts of the world to discover and taste the best chocolates… what more can be better than this? lol. I envy you Doreen. 🙂

  8. Aayna says:

    It’s great that Peru has such tours. For a chocolate fanatic like me, such tours are always on the cards. Thanks Doreen for the share.
    Aayna recently posted…Comment on Skin Gym by The Tale of Sigourney & Max Cantelo | The Grace TalesMy Profile

  9. Charis says:

    @ Doreen, I also have heard many about SOMA Chocolatemaker of Toronto who makes yummy and tasty chocolates. Many traveler wants to go at there and wants to buy their chocolates.

  10. I had soma amazing hot chocolate from Peru with a touch of hot peppers in it, it was wonderful and so warming. The image above from Madera Verde looks heavenly, I don’t blame you for wanting to go back.
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…Label Blindness – When You Become Trapped By Your TitleMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Debra: Yes, SOMA Chocolatemaker of Toronto does some amazing things with Peruvian chocolate. I love their Twilight bar.

      And yes, the Madera Verde Jungle Lodge really was a lovely place. I may do a post about it next time. Stay tuned!

  11. I have always wanted to go to Peru. The Chocolate is certainly an incitement to do so for sure. I know what you mean by the fruity notes. I have had some Peruvian chocolate at a culinary institute and it was very cool. You could really taste the difference between that to different chocolate at a tasting event like that. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Smoking Loon Pinot Noir 2012: WineMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Susan and thanks for your comment.

      Yes, I think it’s really cool how chocolate from different parts of the world tastes very different from chocolate made from cocoa grown elsewhere. Chocolate is really similar to wine in that regard.

      Looking forward to some wine and chocolate tasting with you soon!

  12. Catarina says:

    Doreen, sometimes when I’m in a super market and watch people buying tons of chocolate and candy, I can’t help thinking that they would love your job.

    Am sure that if I told them about what you do they would want to have the same profession.
    Catarina recently posted…Can Hermès handbags and diamonds give you a start?My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Catarina: Fortunately, you can indeed now get some pretty fine chocolate at supermarkets. I know that Whole Foods in Canada and the US sell quality chocolate such as Kallari and that Shopper’s Drug Mart in Canada also sells quite a few quality brands, most notably Lindt. I hope that supermarkets in Sweden also carry pure handcrafted chocolate and not just chocolate candy filled with sugar and additives.

  13. It is good to see that Peru has identified a very unique tourism market by the name Chocolatour.
    Raymond Waruhari recently posted…African Safari 101: All You Need To Know Before Going To AfricaMy Profile

  14. Salika Jay says:

    I love milk chocolates and creamier the better. So I have a feeling that I will like Naranjillo milk chocolates.
    Salika Jay recently posted…Top 10 Travel Tips: Important Things To Keep In MindMy Profile

  15. I could not possibly be more impressed that you are making a living with chocolate! Genius…and I must say I learned a great deal about cocoa and Peru in the post.
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…Arguments and Women…Where’s The Justice?My Profile

    • Doreen Pendgracs says:

      Thanks, Jacqueline,and welcome to the blog! I believe it’s your first visit here? I hope you’ll subscribe and become part of our chocolate loving community. 🙂

  16. Geek Girl says:

    You are indeed truly blessed to have a career focused on chocolate 🙂 I love the photos and the stories of your travels. Until next time… 🙂
    Geek Girl recently posted…PERFECTION CHALLENGED: By Jade KerrionMy Profile

  17. satinka says:

    Wonderful that you are living your dream, Doreen. You realize…it is the ONLY way to live, since then it is your very soul that does the guiding. After all, life is supposed to be fun! 🙂
    satinka recently posted…Healing ToxicityMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      I am indeed having fun, Satinka! I can’t imagine living my life any other way. Thanks for being along on this virtual journey with me. 🙂

  18. Hi Doreen — now that you’ve published your book will you still be traveling the world in search of the finest chocolate? Looking forward to your next venture.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…7 Tips for Promoting Your Business on InstagramMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Absolutely, Jeannette! I’m heading off to San Francisco and LA later this month as research for Volume II of Chocolatour. The chocolate journeys will continue for some years to come!

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