Chocolate from Peru is second to none

I hope my previous post helped whet your appetite for the many flavours of Peru. Chocolate travel is not just about tasting chocolate, but about tasting all the complementary flavours of the local cuisine and libations.


meet Giovanna Maggiolo of Xocolatl

In this post, I’d like to feature two of my favourite chocolatiers from Lima. I first introduced you to Giovanna Maggiolo in a previous post about our time in Lima, but today, I’d like to take you to her chocolate shop in Miraflores and tempt you with the amazing flavour selections you’ll find at Xocolatl.

The first thing that will greet you when you walk into Giovanna’s shop is the burst of colour! I happened to be there right before Easter, so colourful Easter eggs and treats tempted me at every turn.


Giovanna’s Xocolatl Chocolate Shop in Lima

Giovanna uses Peruvian couverture and ingredients to create her unique bonbon and bar flavours. One of my favourites was the Fusion fruit and nut bar. The fruit and nut bars are the smaller sized bars. The plain chocolate bars are larger. Both sets are colourfully wrapped. All are delicious and reflect Giovanna’s creativity.

The Fusion bar features a dark chocolate base flavoured with cocoa nibs, cherries, and watermelon! It was absolutely delicious and hit you with fresh flavours as opposed to the sickly sweetness you occasionally find with fruit-flavoured bars and confections. That freshness is something I found consistent with products of all of the Peruvian chocolatiers and chocolate makers that I met. Because, for the most part, they are using cocoa and ingredients grown locally, freshness and intensity of flavour is what puts Peruvian chocolate out in front of most others.

meet Roselen Chocolatier

Another Peruvian chocolatier based in Lima that really impressed me is Roselen Chocolatier, a mother and son team running a home-based operation creating chocolates that are beautiful to look at and delicious to enjoy.


Elena and Giorgio of Roselen Chocolatier at their home factory in Lima, Peru.

Elena Basagoitia Villavicencio started her chocolate company back in 2003 from her home in Surco, located in the south end of Lima. Her handsome son, Giorgio Demarini Basagoitia, is trained in graphic design, and uses his artistic talent to design Roselen’s colourful packaging and handpaint all of their chocolates. You almost hate to eat them as they’re so beautiful, but believe me. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to try the delectable flavours Giorgio and  Elena have come up with.


Roselen Chocolates are handpainted and almost too beautiful to eat!

The Guinness truffle rolled in crushed maca (a Peruvian potato popular in the Andes culture) is just an example of the creative flavour palette you can enjoy from Roselen. What also thrilled me is the fact that they use couverture from Orquidea (who we visited in the May 8th post.) Roselen uses three different kinds of organic chocolate to make 30 different unique flavour combinations in small batches that you can order online and have hand-delivered if you live in Lima.

Because of their quality and creativity, I was happy to include Roselen Chocolatier on the list I wrote for National Geographic Traveler featuring the 10 Best Chocolate Shops in the world.

I hope you’ve now got a better idea as to why I’m loving Peruvian chocolate and why you should, too. And if you can’t get to Lima anytime soon, it’s good to know that SOMA in Toronto and Willie’s Cacao in the UK are just two bean-to-bar chocolatemakers who are making terrific bars featuring Peruvian chocolate. You can order online from both of their sites. Have a taste and let me know what you think!


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.

36 Responses

  1. EzyDog says:

    I so loved chocolates and I hope that my blood sugar won’t rise if eating more than 3 pieces. Yummy!

  2. Hi Doreen,

    I’m late coming to these posts, but glad to read them. I’m going to Argentina in September, and may spend some time in Lima as well. I will certainly add these chocolate shops on my “must do” list!


    • Doreen says:

      Hi Allison: It’s never too late to join a discussion on either of my blogs. We love having you join the discussions.

      I’ve not yet been to Argentina, bit would love to go as I love their music and their red wine. Plus … I hear they have some pretty good chocolate there, too! I’m sure you’ll have a great trip!

  3. Julidarma says:

    Wow nice chocolate. Chocolate from south America is so popular

  4. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing us a wonderful blog as well as good chocolates types..and yes I always remembered crunch chocolates very much….

    • Doreen says:

      Thank you for visiting my blog! Your comment previously passed me by and I hadn’t noticed it.

      Yes, it’s nice to have texture in the chocolates with a crunch, but silky smooth chocolate is also very wonderful. It all depends on my mood. Different chocolate for different moods.
      Doreen recently posted…cacao cuisine is king at Hotel Chocolat BoucanMy Profile

  5. grayspirit says:

    Well, this post certainly gave me the munchies for some chocolate. Thanks for the post, you know, I never thought about Peru or South America as being a place for great chocolate. But then … duh … I remembered where cacao came from!
    grayspirit recently posted…Dry Climates ExplainedMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Yes, having chocolate made right at the source really does produce some of the most aromatic and flavourful chocolate you will ever eat.

      Thanks for visiting the blog.

  6. Hi Doreen, From one chocolate lover to another – cheers! You are so right. Creativity is so important in making chocolates. I’ve enjoying browsing your website. It’s made me hungry for some chocolate. 🙂

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Steve.

      I would like to try some of that Sacred chocolate but David Wolfe did not respond to my request to connect.

  7. Adam says:

    Oh wow! That looks delicous. I love chocolate and this package, full of color, is so tempting right now. Thank you for your post.

    • Doreen says:

      You’re most welcome, Adam! Thanks for joining the blog. I hope you’ll enjoy the next series of posts on Ecuador. New one tomorrow!

  8. giovanna says:

    Those days were incredible, introducing you to our peruvian gastronomic culture and hanging around.
    Thanks for everything, I had a great time!

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks so much for joining us here on the blog, Giovanna, and for being the best guide and culinary chaperone we ever could have imagined. You made our trip to Peru INCREDIBLE! I am definitely hoping to have a launch for my book in Lima, so with any luck, our paths will cross again sometime soon. Ciao for now!

  9. Thanks to all for your wonderfull comments!Yes Peruvian chocolate has a lot to give to the chocolate world since in Peru we have lots of genetic varieties of cacao and natives cacaos.Also we have a huge variety of fruits that aren’t yet worldwide known as the Lucuma, Algarrobina, Chilli Limo, tumbo, etc, wich i work with .So thanks Doreen for this wonderfull post and your visit to Perú.Hope you come back again soon!
    Kind Regards,
    Giorgio Demarini
    Roselen Chocolatier

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks so much, Giorgio, for joining us on the blog, for making such great chocolate and your ongoing support. You are a true man of chocolate!

      I do indeed hope to return to Peru sometime soon. Hopefully … to launch my book in the next 6 months. Stay tuned!

  10. Shamis says:

    Oh my…those Roselen Chocolates sure are too beautiful to eat! I’d rather have it in a display 🙂 Now I want to try some Peruvian chocolates. Perhaps next time I go to Toronto. How does it taste when compared to Swiss chocolates?
    Shamis recently posted…Most Amazing Places In The World – Part 1My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hello Shamis: Yes, you can buy Peruvian chocolate at SOMA’s in Toronto. (Search my blog for SOMA for more info on that.)

      Peruvian chocolate is quite different than Swiss, Belgian or Dutch chocolate which are all creamier and silkier. Peruvian chocolate is generally quite dark (I saw little milk chocolate there) and is quite intense in flavours, with fruity undertones. I love it!

  11. They look so colorful! Never been to Peru so I haven’t had the chance to sample real peruvian chocolate in the country, but I’d love to one day.

    I’m a huge fan of chocolate, will be going to my favorite chocolate country in a few weeks: Belgium!
    Sofia – As We Travel recently posted…Eastern & Oriental Express – The Photo EssayMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Sofia and thanks for dropping into the blog.

      Yes, Belgium makes great chocolate. Do look up Laurent Gerbaud in Brussels if you can. Here is the post I wrote on the best of Belgium: belgian-chocolate-at-its-best/.

      Have a great trip!

  12. Shawn says:

    I can swear that those chocolates at the box from Roselen Chocolates is too good to be real. They are such eye candy that I would rather stare at them than eat those sinfully good pieces.
    Shawn recently posted…buy green smoke electronic cigarettesMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      I hear you, Shawn!

      Sometimes the chocolate products I encounter truly are works of art and one is hesitant to eat the evidence! But remember, a chocolatier is like a chef. They make their creations for us to eat and enjoy.

      Thanks for dropping into the blog for a taste. I hope you’ll return next week.

  13. Beth Blair says:

    Wow, that looks divine! A second suitcase may come in handy for toting all of the chocolate home. 🙂
    Beth Blair recently posted…Why I Love the Embraer 170 and 175My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Right on, Beth! I’ve learned to always bring a collapsable tote along with me, or an expandable suitcase where there’s room for chocolate. And remember to have a heat repelling protective bag in which you can transport your chocolate. there’s nothing worse than coming hone with amazing chocolate that is squashed or melted from the journey home.

      Thanks for stopping by the blog. Happy travels!

  14. Jeanette Michaud says:

    Very Good Roselen excelent Chocolates!!!
    The Best Chocolates!!!!

  15. I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the freshness of the Peruvian chocolate. It’s like eating a mango from a tree and then tasting what passes for a mango in our North American stores. There’s simply no comparison, even if the Peruvian chocolate can be a little overwhelming and/or eccentric at times.

    • Doreen says:

      Ah, my dear, Virginia. What may be eccentric to you … may be titillating to me and others. That’s the excitement of taste. We all experience it so individually. Brings to mind the term my friend, Katharine coined: the chocogasm. It’s unique for each of us. 🙂 Stay tuned for the book for more on that!

      Thanks for joining the discussion and being a most capable chocolate taster!

  16. Doreen says:

    Right on, Susan! Creativity does indeed go a LONG way in making a difference with a product or service. And both Roselen and Xocolatl really do excel in what they do.

    Great to see you on the blog again. It’s been awhile!

  17. Love the colours Doreen and I don’t think I have ever seen hand painted chocolate before. It shows how a little creativity can really make a difference.
    Susan Oakes recently posted…Keep It Simple To Expand Sales NowMy Profile

  18. Doreen says:

    Thanks for joining us on the blog, Bethany Lee.

    You’d be surprised at the amount of creativity that goes into making artisanal chocolates! I’ve literally been blown around the world by it!

    The sites I’ve listed in Canada and the UK won’t have the Xocolatl or Roselen products, but they do have very good chocolate made with Peruvian beans, so it’s the next best thing to going there. Enjoy!

  19. I am so impressed with Roselen, and the idea that the graphic designer son actually handpaints those chocolates! How could you eat them? Ok ok, I guess I can imagine how, but still . . . 🙂
    The Fusion bar sounds good. I have never tried chocolate with watermelon flavor to it. That does sound refreshing! And thanks for the heads up for the online stores that sell these Peruvian chocolates! 🙂

  20. Doreen says:

    Thanks for joining us on this journey, Coretta! It’s always great to hear from you.

    Unfortunately, our chocolate travels do not come calories free. But I can assure you. It’s worth every last calories to be able to partake in the quality of chocolate I’ve had the privilege of finding — and sharing!

    Your creativity astounds me! Eating the Roselen (and other beautiful chocolates) from bottom up had never occurred to me! Thanks for the suggestion, and thanks again for dropping by.

  21. Coretta says:

    First let me thank you for your beautiful, calorie-free blog background. Mmmm…good.
    I agree that the Roselen chocolates do look too good to eat. Maybe I could just nibble from the underside so that it maintains it’s beauty on top…at least for awhile. 🙂

  22. Doreen says:

    Hi Susan:
    Thanks for stopping by the blog and sharing your enthusiasm for great chocolate and beautiful things. And yes … Peruvian chocolate encompasses both! I hope you find/order some soon.

  23. Susan Cooper says:

    The dark chocolate flavoured with cocoa nibs, cherries, and watermelon sounds amazing. I agree Roselen’s beautiful confections are something that would be hard to eat but temptation not allow that to last for long. Now I will need to find some good chocolate. :D, Susan Cooper

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