Hi friends! Happy Friday :) I know we have been talking Whole 30 and chicken lately — oh my gosh… you guys seriously make me blush… thank you! I wanted to write about our final few days in Peru, well because it includes lots of chocolate. So let’s go.
After our unforgettable experience at Machu Picchu, we took the train back to Ollantaytambo and then a bus to Cusco. So much sleeping.
The next morning we had a bite to eat and enjoyed a nice walk around the city of Cusco. In the 1400s, Cusco was the capital city of the Incans so there are many ruins and even today the city has an ancient feel.
But when the Spanish came around 100 years later, they built many churches to symbolize their conquest. The main church is in the main square called Plaza des Armas. I’m a history nerd.
There were many street vendors selling all kinds of food: from traditional Peruvian eats like empanadas to hard boiled eggs and potatoes… way better than our street meat.
Speaking of food, we went to San Pedro Market. A market for Peruvians with food from all across the area. It was a really cool experience – with an interesting aroma. The produce was beautiful but the hunks of raw meat were disgusting. I saw a man with a whole dead pig on his shoulder. I ran to the fruit.
The food and some produce did look tasty but even Jorge said he wouldn’t eat anything because he is not used to it anymore and would become sick – he’s from Cusco originally. So as delicious as the strawberries looked, we took a pass.
It was really cool to see some of the health foodie products we use at home. Like chia seeds and maca. Not sure why I was surprised because maca is grown in the highlands of Peru so it’s actually weird that we use it. I love how prevalent natural and herbal medicine is. So many vendors sell medicinal teas like maca mixed with quinoa for digestive and nutritious benefits.
In the afternoon, Les and I splurged a little and took a chocolate making workshop at Cusco’s “Chocolate Museum.” It should be renamed chocolate heaven.
We learned all about the chocolate making process. Peru produces 10% of the world’s chocolate. The cacao pods grow on the cacao tree and contain 20-60 cacao beans per pod. That’s how chocolate starts out. Then we got to the making. We first roasted the beans, then peeled them, then grinded them, then put them in cuisinart type thing to get them smooth. Once sugar and milk is added, then the chocolate is tempered to make all the deliciousness.
It was so much fun!! We made a few different kinds of hot chocolate too (a Mayan version with chilli powder and honey; and a Spanish version with cinnamon and clove). And ate so much chocolate.
Then we got the molds out and some fun mix-ins and made our own. I made dark chocolate with coconut, milk chocolate with peanuts and dark chocolate with almonds. The molds then chilled for an hour in the freezer. The finished product was amazing if I do say so myself. Amy the chocolatier. And Amy, with the very burnt forehead.
Our final day in Peru was a lazy one. I think the trip caught up with us because we weren’t in the mood to do much of anything. Breakfast, watching Reign (guys… best show ever), walking around, enjoying some sun (aka getting burnt again), eating, looking for wifi.
It was an amazing adventure with my favorite travel buddy. Where to next?! Well, we have to save some cash first :)
Hope you have a wonderful day and weekend!
Questions of the day…
What are you up to this weekend?
What’s your favorite kind of chocolate?
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