You might be surprised to learn this, but some of the best chocolate in the world comes from Guatemala, a fact that makes this Gringo love the country even more. Known for its production of chocolate is the city of Mixco. The chocolate made here is commonly used for as drinking chocolate, or hot chocolate, a tradition in Guatemala.
To make the chocolate, first the seeds are taken from the pod and set to dry in the sun on a piece of linen cloth or zinc laminate. Next they are placed in a clay oven where they are toasted until golden. After they cool they are ground up, traditionally with a mortar and passel.
From there are you do is prepare it how you like! The act of extracting chocolate from cocoa pods is a fundamental part of the culture in Mixco; believe me when I say it is a form of art! Make sure you try a cup of the good stuff while visiting Guatemala. And if you have the chance, go check out a local chocolate factory; there you can see the whole process, right down to the setting of the chocolate bars for the melting. Some tours even come complete with a complementary cup… yumm.