Photo: Lee McCoy
Though not as famous as the chocolate produced in other Andean nations (looking at you, Ecuador!), Colombian-made chocolate can still hold its own. Whether you like your chocolate liquid, solid, gooey, bitter, crunchy, melted or filled with fruit, there’s a place in this dessert-loving country that’s got just what you need.
Photo: Terra Hall
It’s been 50 years since Roald Dahl penned the story of the penniless Charlie Bucket getting his hands on the winning chocolate bar in his 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The golden ticket, which was tucked inside the chocolate bar, gave Charlie and four other kids access to a world most children can only dream of – chocolate rivers surrounded by “eatable marshmallow pillows, likable wallpaper […], hot ice creams for cold days, cows that give chocolate milk, fizzy lifting drinks [and] square sweets that look round.”
That book, which Hollywood later turned into two movies has inspired anyone with a sweet tooth to dream big. That’s why I decided I had to celebrate Dahl’s semi-centennial with a trip to Peru’s very own chocolate factory – the ChocoMuseo.
Photo: Natalie Southwick
The US gets a lot of (well-deserved) attention for its stellar breakfast food, but Colombia knows how to hold its own when it comes to the most important meal of the day.
From the bustling central cities to the laid-back Caribbean coast to the rural campesino communities in the south, everyone stocks up on energy food – and, of course, lots of carbs – before heading out to greet the day. Any Colombian will tell you that food here varies immensely by region – and the battles between different areas for culinary supremacy are fierce. Each part of the country has its own spin on the beloved arepa, its own fruit juices, its own cheese, bread, potato dishes, rice – you get the picture. This is just one of the many things that makes traveling throughout Colombia such an adventure: you’re always trying new flavors and dishes, no matter where you go!
It could take pages to go through all of the options available for morning foodies, but here’s a quick primer on a few of the most typical Colombian breakfast dishes, ranging from the positively mouthwatering to the ones that might make you wish you’d never gotten out of bed. Of course, all of them come with a fresh-brewed cup of Colombian coffee!
Photo: Lance Brashear
Fine or flavor. It sounds like a choice, right? When talking about cocoa–the bean from which chocolate is produced–the words fine or flavor (in Spanish it is termed “fino o de aroma”) indicate a very distinct choice. But the choice is not as implied – between fine chocolate and flavor chocolate. In reality, the two are complements and your choice is really between chocolate that is fine and flavorful or chocolate that is a bit more ordinary.
Photo: Tourism Office of Guayaquil
The old history of chocolate is the story of how people forgot where it came from. The recent history is about re-discovering its origins.
What you should know if you visit Ecuador is that, although this country does not produce an especially large amount of cocoa, it does produce the greatest volume of fine or flavor beans in the world.