Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - After enjoying a fabulous dinner during Restaurant Week 2011, 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.
Charlotte Semple, co-owner along with partner Carole Fast of Xocodiva Artisan Chocolates says: "Our vision is to blend European artistry with Mesoamerican mythology and tradition to create fine, hand crafted chocolates."
The Bahía de Banderas area is very fortunate to have a world class chocolate shop located in its midst. As one enters the shop, the front foyer has tables and two couches perfect for a chocolate delight paired with a Nespresso coffee or Xocodiva hot chocolate.
The cacao tree was first given its botanical name by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus, in his original classification of the plant kingdom, who called it Theobroma Cacao ("Food of the Gods"). It is believed the tree originated in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America where wild cacao can still be found today. It was first cultivated in Mesoamerica by the Olmecs around 1500 BC and later used by the Mayans and Aztecs for scared ceremonies, social status and currency. For 100 beans you could purchase a turkey, for 30 a small rabbit, or a tamale for a single bean.
Chocolate was later introduced to Europe by the Spaniards and became a popular beverage by the mid 17th century.
Today, many tempting chocolates can be found on the south side of Puerto Vallarta at Xocodiva. Among the many choices some of the flavor favorites are passion fruit, chile, espresso, coconut lime, cinnamon, cherry, caramel, tequila and champagne. They also offer a selection of chocolate bars, almond barks, chocolate covered nuts and assorted confections. Heart-shaped boxes made of chocolate and filled with truffles are a great choice for special occasions.
The newest concoctions include cherry cordials, which put to shame the old images of a chocolate covered cherry. These are made with wild French cherries that add a tart contrast to the liquid center. Both soft and salt caramels are available and many other new flavors are being created for the upcoming season.
The chocolates are carefully hand packed in white gift boxes and tied with the signature Xocodiva burgundy ribbon. When someone sees such a box they know that goodness lies inside. These boxes make wonderful gifts for housewarmings, weddings, anniversaries, host/hostess presents and birthdays. Cold packaging is available for transporting purchases. Custom-made gift baskets can be ordered according to the client's preference and budget.
In the next couple of weeks they will be launching their new line of freshly dipped chocolate covered frozen fruit and ice cream bars.
These two chocolatiers have turned the complex production of chocolate into a standout store for all of lucky Puerto Vallarta.
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 2011 reviews click HERE.