Visiting Puerto Vallarta is a cultural experience that is sure to allow you to explore the traditional and unique settings of Mexico. Recently, I visited Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta and went to the Choco Museo (Chocolate Museum) located in the Malecon area. Here, I learned all about the cultural significance of cacao and chocolate while tasting a variety of these delectable treats.
The Choco Museo is a fun place to visit for an afternoon as you can taste a variety of creations and learn all about chocolate and cacao. As soon as you walk in, you enter the Choco Store, which features a variety of chocolate lover foods including salsas made with cacao, cacao tea, chocolate pasta noodles, chocolate soap, and more. When visiting the Choco Museo you can visit their free museum and/or sign up for a variety of workshops including the following:
- Bean to Bar Workshop: Make three traditional chocolate drinks to taste onsite and your own box of chocolates that you can take home with you in this two hour workshop.
- Truffle Workshop: Make your own chocolate truffles and bon bons with your choice of flavor and toppings that you can take home with you in this two hour workshop.
- Mole Poblano Workshop: Learn how to make your own mole sauce with various nuts, spices and cacao beans. You will even prepare and eat your choice of a mole meal to wrap up this tasty, three hour workshop.
- Mini Chocolate Workshop: This forty-five minute workshop is perfect for people who are in a hurry or with their families and want to make a box of chocolates to take home but do not have time to learn the full history and processes behind chocolate.
- Total Chocolate Workshop: Includes both the Bean to Bar and Truffle Workshop in one fun, three hour adventure.
In all of the workshops you will learn the history of cacao and chocolate as well as discover the chocolate making process, with the exception of the Mini Chocolate Workshop that does not include a complete overview of the chocolate making process.
During my visit, I participated in the Bean to Bar Workshop. This workshop started out with a guided walk through of the museum where I learned all about the history and processes to make chocolate and cacao. Then, our group was led into the kitchen where our guide handed us hats and aprons that helped us channel our inner chocolate making chefs.
In the class, our guide explained to us the process of how to roast and grind cacao beans, and then lead us in doing so. After our beans were roasted, we used these beans to make three different chocolate and cacao drinks. Prior to this class, I had never tasted a chocolate or cacao drink and really loved the sweet taste. I enjoyed it so much that I bought a bag of cacao tea from their store and took it back home with me.
After making the cacao and chocolate drinks our guide gave us chocolate molds to choose from (there was a variety of shapes such as hearts, stars, and circles) and asked us what type of chocolate we wanted to make. We were then walked through the entire process of making, molding, topping, and packaging the chocolates. I appreciated the thoroughness in which our guide led this workshop and had a fun time making and try all the chocolates. The added bonus was taking a full box of chocolates back to my hotel room to snack on throughout the week!
After the workshop, I went to the Choco Cafe on the top floor where you can order chocolate desserts, crepes, tea, and coffee. I had a cacao latte paired with chocolate-dipped fruit. The cacao and chocolate tasted so pure and fresh. It was a delicious treat and even if you don’t have time to participate in a workshop at the museum I highly recommend that you go and try some of their unique foods.
The Choco Museo is open Monday thru Saturday from 9:30 am to 10 pm and Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm. It is located at Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, 128, Centro Malecon, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. You can walk in the shop, museum and cafe any time during their operational hours. Workshops need to be booked in advance by emailing PuertoVallarta@ChocoMuseo.com or calling (52)1-322-223-4052.
I highly recommend a visit to the Choco Museo so you can taste the finest cacao and chocolate around.
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