When we went to see Ray Bradbury were staying at the Omni California Plaza hotel in Los Angeles. Because they are great they have a select guest program. One of the many perks is complementary beverages for two each morning. One hot and one cold. For me the choice was simple. I do not drink coffee and I carry my own tea bags everywhere. I also love good hot chocolate. Nice hotels usually serve up a decent cup of cocoa. My order was for hot chocolate and orange juice. When I took the first taste of the hot chocolate I was surprised. It was spicy! It was "Hey, I feel that all the way down my throat" spicy. I told my husband he had to taste it and he loved it, too. Each morning (and some evenings)I ordered this strange hot chocolate and wished I knew how to make it myself because I was going to miss it when I was gone. When I came home I wrote a little blurb on my blog about the Omni California Plaza and how much we enjoyed it. I mentioned the hot chocolate. Then I did a little research and found it it was Chuao Chocolatier's Spicy Maya Hot Chocolate. No wonder it was spicy! I thought I tasted cinnamon and pepper!
Let me tell you about Chuao.
Chuao is a small village located in northern Venezuela famous for its cacao plantations. Some of the finest cocoa beans in the world are produced in Chuao. The village is surrounded by mountains and dense rainforests to the south and by the Caribbean Sea to the north. Visitors must come by boat from along the coast, or by foot, crossing the mountains and the luxurious cloud forest from Turmero near Maracay. Did I mention that I used to live in Maracay, very near Chuao? It's a beautiful place.
In the Chuao plantation there are pure Criollo and hybrid varieties of cacao grown. Criollo beans from Chuao are of very high quality, and are considered Venezuela's finest beans.
Besides Spicy Maya hot chocolate, Chuao Chocolatier also offers Abuela (meaning grandmother) and Winter varieties. Hot chocolate isn't even Chuao's claim to fame. They have chocolate bars and bon bons and choco-pods, among other items. The first time I saw Chuao chocolate I was in World Market. I brought some "Caracas" bars home for my husband. I thought they were a nice little novelty since my husband is from Venezuela. He was thrilled. I had no idea when I was at the hotel that I was having Venezuelan cocoa from Chuao. I still sit here shaking my head about all the wonderful things to come from Venezuela.
One of the Oompa Loompas from Chuao sent me a package with two tins of Spicy Maya hot chocolate. One for me, and one for you! Here is how you can win:
First, go to Chuao Chocolatier and take a look at all their wonderful offerings. Then come and tell me which one you think would be your favorite.
Follow Chuao on twitter and tweet this message:
Chuao Spicy Maya Hot Chocolate will tease your taste buds and leave you begging for more. Enter to win @ http://tinyurl.com/dgb76a Please RT
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Because this is such an amazing treat I want you to share it with your chocolate loving friends. If your friend enters and says you sent them in their entry you may come and take another entry. (One entry per friend, please)
I will choose a winner on Monday, May 18th. U.S. entries only, please.