Peruvian Cacao in the Spotlight

Peruvian cacao

Learn more about our Peru Culinary Tour and explore Peruvian culture through its cuisine.

Heritage foods are plentiful in Peru, making it the ultimate culinary destination. The Access Culinary Trips Peru tour explores modern cuisine fusion, heritage food cultivation, and stories told through culinary practices and legacies for thousands of years. What is a heritage food you might ask? It’s a product, agricultural or man-made, that hails from a particular region. In Peru, this means foods like potatoes, corn, quinoa and on today’s blog, Peruvian cacao.

Heritage of Peruvian Cuisine

From modern Lima to mountainous Cusco, the foods of Peru will wow you. Fusion flavors originate from the immigration stories of peoples from Japan, China, West Africa, European and indigenous cultures. Our culinary tour takes a personal look into these food histories and explores how Peru has evolved in taste and community.

The Roots of Cacao

When cacao was first introduced to Europe by Spanish explorers, it was thought of as “loathsome.” By the 17th century, sugar was  introduced and chocolate began to evolve into a more universally palatable “treat.” Cacao are large, oblong orange-red seed pods originating in the Amazonian range, specifically the lower Andean foothills in Peru. Interior seeds must be fermented, dried and then roasted before what we consider chocolate cocoa can be created.

Peruvian Cacao Vs. African Cacao

Much like wine, cacao, or chocolate, comes in many taste variations based on growing region, season and weather. Peruvian chocolate is thought to be some of the highest grades worldwide and their business is booming in Peru. While the majority of chocolate distributed to date is grown in Africa, fine chocolatiers are now seeking out these micro-grown specialties from South America.