Chocolate Cravings.

A friend asked us in our last days in Peru what we were looking forward to, food-wise. Matt’s answer was cheddar cheese. I couldn’t think of anything off the top of my head and it drove my crazy. I guess I just spent too much time in markets and cooking and focusing on what they DID have, that I couldn’t come up with any foods that I needed to have right away when we returned.

Chocolate Factory in Tarapoto.

I definitely missed the access to international ingredients and tempeh and a variety of fresh green vegetables, but I could wait for those things and enjoy them when it came. It didn’t hit me until we were already in the US, in a grocery store. Chocolate! Not just any chocolate, mind you. Dark, bitter chocolate. Peru has plenty of chocolate and candy bars (mostly owned by Nestle) but it’s all sugary milk chocolate. Strange, though, that a lot of cacao is grown in the Amazon, yet they consume it in processed crappy candy bars or artisanal chocolate drinks (that are so full of natural oils/fats that my stomach gets very angry with me). Only in Tarapoto did I find dark chocolate (La Orquidea) that was delicious but hard to find (only saw it in Tarapoto and Moyobamba, jungle towns. I’m sure it’s in Lima). We had an adventure finding the factory on the outskirts of town, only to almost get eaten by the guard dog and have them tell us they were closing in 10 minutes and we couldn’t get a tour (but I did get some bars for $1 each) The rest of chocolate found in Peru was for sugar fixes, not the pure pleasure of chocolate consumption that I am used to.

I spent most of my life scoffing at the chocolate addicts, opting for other snacks, if I sought snacks at all. I’m not sure when it happened but a few years ago I tried Dagoba for the first time and fell in love and was hooked. I have missed really yummy chocolate and I’m glad to have it back. Well, there’s your answer Marcy!

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