Unlike in neighboring Ecuador, Peruvian cocoa beans have not found a following, though growing conditions are quite similar. The industry just hasn’t developed. In Lima’s Miraflores district, the artisanal sweet shop Xocolatl, is one of the first to concentrate on higher end chocolate in the city. Even though the majority of their cocoa comes from Ecuador, it’s a start. Pastry chef Giovanna Maggiolo opened the boutique shop in 2008, though my first taste was from their stand at Mistura 2010.
There are cocadas and canelitas, cakes, and five flavors of chocotejas. She is best known for her trufas (bonbons), which at 3 soles each are a steal. Flavors include Pisco, Wasabi, Maras salt, Algarobina, and even Ranfañote. Bars range from 50% to 75%, though some of their best bars include those stuffed with Amazonian and native Peruvian fruits. There’s one with white chocolate mixed with sauco and pecans, while another combines coconut, cherry, and aguaymanto.
Calle Manuel Bonilla 111 (tienda) 122-2B (taller)
Miraflores, Lima 18
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.