We heard from a friend that there were a few Venezuelan chocolate shops in town, and, after a bit of inquiring, tracked one of them down. Actually marketing themselves as a cafe, they were pretty quiet the Saturday morning that we strode in. Being around 11:30, this was not surprising – Argentines, as a population, are not early risers. In front of us was a glass cabinet full of chocolates, carefully laid out in labelled rows, small little tables to our right and a big glass window further on. The glass window revealed the chocolate-making process – you could actually walk right up and watch them dip the chocolate and apply the rice paper designs and set them to cool. Here are a few pictures of the layout of the place.
At six bon-bons for 15 pesos and 22 for a bar of chocolate, it’s definitely not an every-day stop, but as a treat, it was sublime. Venezuelan chocolate has a good reputation for a very good reason. The stuff we bought (or at least some of it) was 70-73% pure. The flavours were light (at times almost too light). It was artistically done – in addition to the designs you see, there was chocolate with different colours melted in – not a gooey bunch of colour, but swirls and lines and all kinds of designs.
We picked up (from bottom going clockwise in the picture) some kind of flower native to Venezuela, mango, pepper, some type of spicy chocolate, coffee, and raspberry. The flower was one of the favourites, a light taste that was rather hard to describe, while the mango was a little too nuanced – we couldn’t taste it and just had to enjoy the high-quality chocolate. The pepper was good, but not leap out at you good. The spicy chocolate, however, was a tastes sensation. It was really spicy, made with chilies. Chris said that it was like the spiciness opened your mouth up to more flavour. Definitely a crowd-pleaser here. The coffee was divine – usually, I’m not a coffee chocolate kind of guy, but this was the perfect touch of flavour mixed with the chocolate. The raspberry was the strongest of the berry/flower tastes, and I’ve always been a raspberry fan. It was yummy.
If you’re a chocolate fiend and looking for a terrific fix, this place can definitely get you what you need. Just be careful – it’s easy to see how this could be as expensive as some other naughty South American habits.
Kakao Maroa, 1660 Frederico Lacroze