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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkEntertainment | Restaurants & Dining 

Restaurant Week Side Trip - Xocodiva Artisan Chocolates
email this pageprint this pageemail usGary R. Beck - PVNN
May 21, 2010

Open daily from 10 am to 10 pm, Xocodiva Artisan Chocolates is located at Ródolfo Gomez #118, across from the San Marino Hotel on the south side of Puerto Vallarta. Tel: (322) 113-0352.
After enjoying a fabulous dinner at época Restaurant & Beach Bar during Restaurant Week 2010, we strolled over to Ródolfo Gómez and stopped in at Xocodiva Artisan Chocolates, which is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm for people desiring a fantastic chocolate fix.

This gorgeous chocolate shop, with its array of hand-crafted truffles, molded chocolates, chocolate bars, gourmet nuts, caramel popcorn, confections and gift baskets, is located at Ródolfo Gómez #118, next to Dee's Coffee Shop on the south side of Vallarta.

Xocodiva's logo catch phrase is "Food of the Gods" - and for good reason! Theobroma cacao, (a Mayan word meaning God Food,) is the genus and species of tree from which chocolate is obtained. Native to Mexico, Central and South America, Theobroma cacao is deeply rooted in pre-Olmec culture a couple millenia ago dating to before 1400 BC, and later by the Mayan and Aztec cultures, where the prosperous drank ground cacao and warriors felt it gave them energy for successful battles.

Ritualized cacao drinking among the elite classes of early American society unites the civilizations of the Olmecs, Mayans and Aztecs. They combined ground cacao with ground maize to make a gruel for the lower class drink. For the upper class, honey, annatto, dried ground flowers, chilies, vanilla flowers and spices similar to anise or black pepper were added.

Cacao beans commonly were used as currency. From the New World, cacao was eventually adopted, sweetened and loved in the Old. For some time it was primarily a beverage that was drunk hot or cold, until colonists added sugar and then it became a confection (not a candy!) It took a royal wedding to make chocolate a star. When the Spanish princess María Theresa came to the French court at Versailles to marry King Louis XIV in 1660, she brought along her precious cacao beans.

Xocodiva owners Charlotte Semple and Carole Fast are from Canada, where they founded a not-for-profit which helped women in abusive relationships, Carole being a therapist in Victoria, B.C., Canada. Charlotte, ever-expanding her interests and knowledge, decided to take a two-hour course in chocolate making. She quickly fell in love with Belgian chocolates and the process of making them all by hand, so she volunteered at a chocolate shop to learn the craft, also hiring professional chefs to tutor her.

Simply said, all of this paid off very well as the ladies sold the house, packed up everything, including Charlotte's equipment, and moved in 2006 to Puerto Vallarta. In January 2007, they opened their beautiful and elegant artisan chocolate shop, Xocodiva. Puerto Vallarta has been tremendously grateful ever since.

Not to be missed are the chocolate bars, named for Mayan gods, notably Ek Chuah, god of merchants and Xaman Ek, god of travelers. This idea brings chocolate full circle. Stop in Xocodiva and taste this treat and become part of a long history. You'll leave with a wide smile on your face!

Open daily from 10 am to 10 pm, Xocodiva Artisan Chocolates is located at Ródolfo Gomez #118, across from the San Marino Hotel on the south side of Puerto Vallarta. Tel: (322) 113-0352.

Restaurant Week continues through May 31st at some of the most recognized restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. For a list of participating restaurants and Restaurant Week 2010 reviews click HERE.

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the included information for research and educational purposes • m3 © 2009 BanderasNews ® all rights reserved • carpe aestus