Salon del Cacao y Chocolate in Lima, Peru

I was at the Salón del Cacao Y Chocolate in Lima, Peru, awhile back. The three-day event is organized by the Peruvian Association of Cocoa Producers (APPCACAO) and is interesting in that it really gives visitors a chance to meet cacao growers, see and taste cocoa beans (both raw and roasted), and sample a wide assortment of Peruvian chocolate, chocolate mixed with Pisco (Peru’s national brandy-like drink), and other innovative chocolate creations including chocolate sushi!

chocolate-sushi

Chocolate sushi is just one of the unique chocolate creations you’ll find at Lima’s Chocolate Salon.

I attended the fourth annual Chocolate Salon in Lima in 2013. Although the show is not as big or elaborate as Chocolate Salons you will find in Paris or London, it really is enjoyable and educational, and gives the chocolate lover an opportunity to learn more about Peru’s cocoa growing industry and the people who are growing aromatic cocoa and making the country’s finest chocolate. There is someone at nearly every booth who speaks English, so even if you don’t speak Spanish you can get by. Afterall, chocolate is the universal language of passion and pleasure.

roselen-chocolatier

Roselen Chocolatier gets the Chocolatour Award for most beautiful hand-painted chocolates

It’s no secret that I am in love with Roselen Chocolatier. I awarded this Lima-based chocolatier the Chocolatour Award of Excellence for most beautiful hand-painted chocolates in volume I of Chocolatour and they were featured in this post from my 2012 visit to Lima. Giorgio Demarini has taken the skills he learned in the graphic arts industry and applied his artistic talent to making the chocolates that he and his mother create into delectable works of art. I challenge you to find more beautiful hand-crafted chocolates anywhere on the planet.

shattell-chocolate

Lisi Montoya of Shattell Chocolate

I also love the chocolates created by Lisi Montoya who owns Shattell Chocolate, a small company she opened in the fall of 2009. Lisi started making chocolates for her clients when she was a travel agent, and they became so popular, she decided to open her own chocolate workshop and offer her chocolates to the world. Because of her passion for travel and her desire to create true perfection, Lisi went to Mexico to learn about enrobing chocolate, and to Paris to learn techniques that would improve her chocolates even more.

I also discovered a great new chocolatier that I missed on my last visit to Lima. Miscelánea Dulces makes cakes, pastries, and delicious chocolates. The truffle that won my heart was Miscelánea’s Plátano y Maracuyá which is banana and passion fruit sauteed with rum and vanilla, and then rolled in 65% Puira white cacao. The fresh flavours exploded with exuberance in my mouth. Miscelánea’s shop is located in the Miraflores area of Lima, where you’ll also find Xocolatl by Giovanna Maggiolo–who in addition to assorted fresh chocolates, also sells a divine chocolate and Pisco liquor.

But by far, what sets the Salón del Cacao y Chocolate of Lima apart from other Chocolate Salons around the world is the opportunity to interact with the cocoa farmers, and see firsthand the beans in their raw state. It brings you just that much closer to the passion behind the chocolate. I do hope you’ll try and take in one of the Chocolate Salons (Shows) around the world. If you’ve attended any, please let us know what you liked/didn’t like. about the site, setup, or selection.

The Salón del Cacao y Chocolate in Lima took place at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Centre when I was there. It is now held at the Lima Convention Centre during the summer months, which unfortunately, is their winter. The weather can be quite cool, windy, and cloudy, so be prepared with a warm jacket.  But the warm smiles of the Peruvian people, and the opportunity to taste the fruity notes of fresh Peruvian-grown cocoa makes it all worthwhile.

cocoa-farmer

A Peruvian cocoa farmer proudly shows off her cocoa pods and beans.

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.

50 Responses

  1. What a truly neat experience. It sounds like a fascinating, not to mention delicious activity. Are they open to the public or are the salon’s strictly for chocolatiers?
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…Saturday Morning Chit Chat – When Did We Catch Up With The Future?My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Debra, and thanks for dropping by.

      The Salons are definitely for the public! That is the purpose of the event. But there are seminars particular to the chocolate industry that are held during the show as well. So it really is an educate and entertain educate endeavour.

  2. Shalu Sharma says:

    I have not heard of chocolate sushi before but sounds and looks interesting. I would love to try it out. I didn’t realise Lima was big on chocolate too. Very fascinating.
    Shalu Sharma recently posted…My India travel survival guide for women ebook now available on AmazonMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Shalu and thanks for your comment.

      Lima is definitely of growing importance on both the international culinary and chocolate scenes. I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve tasted.

  3. Merle Rosenstein says:

    Chocolate sushi sounds interesting. Did you get a sample? I wonder what it was made of.

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Merle: I did try a sample of the chocolate sushi. It was a tad sweet for my liking, but it is made of softened chocolate flavoured with things like pistachio. They kept running out of samples so I didn’t get to try too much of it.

  4. Cassi says:

    Those are cocoa pods? I would’ve thought it was squash.

    So the chocolate sushi didn’t have raw fish?
    Cassi recently posted…Tai Cheng Week 11 CompletedMy Profile

  5. MK Slagel says:

    Wow! I had no idea that Peru had so much to offer in the chocolate world. I mean, it does make sense now that I have read this, but it just isn’t something that I would think to travel to Peru for. I have dreamt of traveling to Peru for the majority of my life and I sincerely hope I get there with in the next few years.
    MK Slagel recently posted…Tips for Getting your Toddler to Eat HealthyMy Profile

  6. Linda Strange says:

    I’m waiting to hear more about your long ride into the jungle!.
    Are cocoa pods hard, like pumpkins? I’ll bet I will find the answer when I get my copy of the book! I see they are of the stercula family but haven’t had time to look that up yet. You’re having some great adventures which I’m sure help compensate for the long hours you’re putting in on this series. See you soon.
    LL

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Linda and thanks for stopping by the blog.

      Yes, cocoa pods are hard like pumpkins. They have a very thick rind/skin.

      Yes, I truly am having some amazing adventures. I’m so glad I came up with the idea for this project. It has turned into my dream project! Unfortunately, the long ride into the jungle is a blur. I’ll explain in the next post, so stay tuned!

  7. Catarina says:

    Would love a truffle Miscelánea’s Plátano y Maracuyá. Must have been delicious!

    What Roselen Chocolatier produce also sounds fantastic – and beautiful.

    Pity I didn’t know that had a salon de Cacao in London: Lived there for 15 years and would definitely have found time to visit one year.
    Catarina recently posted…Ever heard of the iKnife?My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Catarina and thanks for your comment.

      October, 2013 will be the 1st ever Chocolate Salon in London. They’ve had Chocolate Week and Chocolate Unwrapped for years, but those are now joining forces with the international family of chocolate shows known as the Chocolate Salons. I’m sure it will be great, but this Oct, I’ll be in LA for the International Chocolate Salon. Wish I could be everywhere, but time and finances don’t permit!

  8. Grace says:

    The Roselen Chocolatier hand painted chocolates look WONDERFUL!!! The show must have been amazing.
    Grace recently posted…Preventing the Leading Causes of Death in the USMy Profile

  9. Susan Cooper says:

    What a delightful experience that must have been for you. I love the fact the you were given an opportunity to interact with each cocoa farmers, and to see the cocoa beans in their raw state. That is very cool. I can also see how it can bring you closer them and their passion for their chocolate. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Gainey Chardonnay 2011: WineMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Susan: That’s the beauty of Chocolatour. I’m not just rating chocolate like many of the chocolate bloggers. And I’m not just focusing on the retail. I’m trying to connect the reader with the passion of the cocoa growers and the chocolate makers. No other chocolate book has done that before.

  10. I never really thought of Peru and chocolate, only thought of coffee. I would love to travel to Peru, it must have been an awesome journey.
    The wonderful part of chocolate is it’s good for you too:-)

  11. Geek Girl says:

    Everything chocolate. What can be better than that? Looking forward to getting my copy of your new book!
    Geek Girl recently posted…Fibonacci Sequence: It Started with RabbitsMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Cheryl: Yes, I owe you and others e-books this week. I’m pretty much caught up on mailing out the print copies to those who had contributed to my campaign. I just got the “Buy the Book” page up on http://chocolatour.net today, and now, I’ve got to send all the e-book donors their copy of the book. I’ll try and get yours out to you tomorrow. Thanks again for your support thru the entire process. 🙂

  12. is there a person who does not like chocolate? LOL. Sounds like a fabulous part of your travels. One year we got to visit the producers of spices. It was in – dang – I can’t remember if it was Italy or Mauritius. But there is nothing like meeting with people like the farmers you met with.

    Thanks.
    Patricia Weber recently posted…If That Ever Happens to Me I Would…My Profile

  13. Today’s hot chocolate has come a long way from little packages with gritty marshmallows. From sipping chocolate flavored with secret Caribbean spices to house-roasted cocoa beans and celebrity truffle shops, America’s best hot chocolate has gone gourmet.
    Myrna V. Russo recently posted…No last blog posts to return.My Profile

  14. Shelley says:

    Hi Doreen. I’m the lucky girl who was fortunate to win the box of Roselen chocolates at your book launch last week. And I’ve been in heaven ever since! They are both beautiful and very yummy. I haven’t yet come across a chocolate that I haven’t loved. I’m always a fan of cherry, and Roselen does a wonderful “cherry kirsch.” I also loved the “pruney Barvarois”, “Saigon cinnamon & marzipan”, “Greek yogurt”, “pineapple coconut caramel”, and “suspiro passionfruit lavender”. Heck, even the “bleu cheese” packaged in chocolate was amazing. Roselen is officially my favourite chocolatier! Can’t wait to enjoy some of the other chocolates you’ve profiled in Chocolatour – I’m sure they are fabulous, too. Congratulations!

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, Shelley. I’m sure Giorgio will be thrilled to hear you enjoyed them all. Being a fan of blue cheese chocs, I’m sorry I missed tasting that one.

      I’m glad you won and enjoyed the chocs. Now you see how much fun chocolatouring can be! It would be great if you could join us for the Worldly Women Choc and Wine event at Caboto Centre in Wpg on Aug 20 from 7-9 pm. Should be great fun.

      • Shelley says:

        Thanks Doreen. Do you know if Roselen chocolates are available in North America? I’d certainly order a box (or several!) if they were available.

        • Doreen says:

          Hi Shelley: To my knowledge, Roselen chocolates are only available in the Lima area, as they are made of fresh ingredients without preservatives. You’ll have to go Chocolatouring to Peru with the Worldly Women travel group!

          I’ll ask Giorgio to drop into the blog to confirm re availability. I’m sure he’ll be pleased to read your glowing review. 🙂

  15. Ashley Faulkes says:

    Hey cool, I love Peru. Although Lima can be a little “gray”? It sounds like you found the sweeter part of Lima. However I found there and Peru in general, the food was awesome. I did not realise though that they did good chocolates and even invited people for a tour. I guess I was in a rush to get out of there :>
    thanks for sharing

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Ashley: Thanks for your comment.

      Lima is indeed gray from April through November I am told.

      I was fortunate to have been there last March, as we had glorious hot sunny weather each and every day. It really is a lovely city in the sun. Do a search for Lima on my blog and it will take you to some previous posts you might enjoy.

  16. Stephanie says:

    I love the presentation of the Chocolates by Roselen, I would be hard pressed to eat something presented artfully. Any links to US based sellers of that particular brand?

  17. Hi everyone :
    Really happy to participate in this great post of Dooren Pendgracs.Thanks you for the kind words and your interest guys in the ‘Salon del Cacao y Chocolate 2013’.It was a great experience, also because in the Peruvian ‘Salon’ you can see all the productive chain starting from the farmers and cooperatives showing their cacaos and then passing through chocolate factories wich they are the principal axis and finishing with artisan chocolatier’s ending the process with an artistic touch in my case and other colleagues.Dooren have had a great experience at the ‘Salon’ and it was a pleasure to meet her again.
    My work is based in an artistic look, pleasing the eyes and then creating an experience in the mouth.My flavours are ranging from some classic through some eccentrics, working only with the best Peruvian chocolate i can find.
    Hope you enjoyed this topic as me!
    Everyone must visit Lima when the Salon is being celebrated.It’s a truly and complete cacao and chocolate adventure.
    Wishing you the best to all and thanks Shelley for the nice words and happy you enjoyed my chocolate.Thanks Doreen again for this amazing post,in this case sharing your experience 🙂
    See you soon
    kind regards,

    Giorgio Demarini
    Chocolatier
    Roselen Chocolatier
    follow me on twitter : @giorgiodemarini / @Roselenchoc
    http://www.roselen.com
    Lima-Perú

  18. My husband and I went to Peru for our honeymoon— a long time ago. Chocolate is certainly not the first thing that springs to mind when I think of Peru—llamas maybe, high altitude (Cuzco), but chocolate — nah. The Roselen chocolates look too pretty to eat, but I could probably get over that given the right stimulus.

    I just discovered your website on BHB. You have found a truly awesome niche.
    Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) recently posted…And the Rockets’ Red Glare….My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Suzanne: Thanks for joining the blog. We do have some great discussions here.

      Yes, the world of Peruvian chocolate is a new one. It’s only in the past few years since the government (with the help of USAid destroyed all the coca crops (grown to make cocaine) and replaced it with cacao and other healthy fruit crops. The resulting flavour of the cacao is absolutely divine.
      Doreen recently posted…Salon del Cacao y Chocolate in Lima, PeruMy Profile

  19. Arleen says:

    Doreen,
    I have been to Peru and never knew that they had Peruvian chocolate. You learn something everyday. It is nice to hear Roselen chocolates are made of fresh ingredients without preservatives. I think they would be hard to bring back due to possibly melting. I did bring back a Peruvian carpet but no candy. Sounds like you had a great experience

    • Doreen says:

      Thx for your comment, Arleen. I did bring plenty of Peruvian chocolate back with me and none melted. But I brought it in my carry-on, so that I knew it wouldn’t be sitting out in the sun for long. Another great way to transport chocolate in warm months, is to purchase one of those silver cooling bags like you use when you bring frozen food home. I bought one at our local fish market and it works great.

  20. Thanks you for sharing this delicious experience with us Doreen! It sounds simply scrumptious and something I must put on my “to-do” list for the near future. I Love chocolate and have recently been playing with recipes for raw chocolates.. it is a delicious hobby to develop!
    Valerie Remy Milora recently posted…The Wonders of LavenderMy Profile

  21. Fatima says:

    Such a mouth watering article. Seems like a great activity and a true chocolate extravaganza. Thank you for sharing this with the readers, after all anything related to chocolate can’t ever be anything less than interesting

  22. Aayna says:

    Doreen, reading your posts is always like taking a dip into the chocolate pool. I simply loved the way of chocolate presentation. Thanks for writing on chocolates, which is my only fantasy.

  23. Mark Murray says:

    A someone who’s a sucker for chocolates, I find these chocolates delicious. Makes me want to take a bite.
    Mark Murray recently posted…lisp in speechMy Profile

  24. Chocolate Sushi?! WOW. Just WOW. I want those!
    Shaun Hoobler recently posted…recipesecrets.net couponMy Profile

  25. GENDROT says:

    Dear

    Im very happy to see that the spirt chocolate is moving in Peru.
    We are a small company in France and we crystallise the naturals flowers in sugar . We provide the chocolatries and pastries . It will fine for us to have a contact ? i wait your feedback , have a nice day JM Gendrot

  1. November 19, 2013

    […] to friend and local author, Shelley Penziwol, who won the box of Roselen Chocolates from I brought back fro Peru the week […]

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