US Chocolate Made with Peruvian Cocoa Wins Awards

Peruvian Chocolate

While at the SCAA trade show recently, we sampled some exquisite chocolate from Theo Chocolate. While reading and translating news from Peru, I came across an article that talks about Theo Chocolate & their award winning chocolate made with Peruvian cocoa.

This year they won two more awards – Best New Product & Peoples Choice. What’s even more interesting is what I found out about the company…

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What You Missed…



If you haven’t yet signed up for our email newsletter, you can do so over at the right of this page (at the bottom on mobile devices.) Why wait?

Follow the ongoing “Real People, Really Good Coffee” story, additional links for your reading pleasure, and sometimes we even throw in free coffee bonuses. Unsubscribe at any time. Join us in supporting direct market coffee trade & even “meet” the growers of fine Curibamba coffee. It’s fun, it’s easy & you get to take part in making the world a better place.

Here’s an excerpt of this weeks’ email newsletter:

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Peru’s fruit & Veggie exports increased 5.1% in January, Fruits You May Never Have Even Heard of


Although overall export trade has been falling, one bright spot for Peruvian exports is the commerce in fruits and vegetables. As the drought intensifies in California, it’s quite possible that Peru may become an even more important source for US consumers in the future. Particularly hard hit by the dry weather has been asparagus which Peru produces in abundance.

In addition to fresh vegetables, Peru has a number of wonderful fruits that are largely unknown here. See below…
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Peru Coffee News, Clips – Goodbye Coke


I try to keep up with the news as much as I can, and Yrma often points out things that may be of interest. We watch with particular attention to news that affect the Peruvian economy, and we tend to focus of course on agricultural imports, in particular coffee & chocolate. Here’s several translated articles that you may enjoy.


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US is Largest Consumer of Peruvian Quinoa


The Lima Chamber of Commerce recorded a six-fold expansion of the crop. (Photo: Andina/Melina Mejia)

6 Fold Increase in Production

From Peru This Week:

Growth in the quinoa market increased from 8 new markets in 2013 to 18 new markets in 2014. These markets include major importers such as Poland, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, China, and later Malaysia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Romania and Portugal in 2014.

According to Carlos Garcia, manager of CCEX, the main market for Peruvian quinoa above all is the United States.

Of the varieties of quinoa, white quinoa is the most commonly exported making up 85%, followed by red quinoa at 10%.

In 2014, quinoa finished fourth in major agricultural products exported after grapes, asparagus, and avocados.
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Recipe: Want a cremolada to beat the heat? Learn how to prepare it! – Peru this Week


Recently, a family member started preparing cremoladas in Tarapoto, Peru. Cremoladas are what we would call fruit smoothies. The best part of a Peruvian cremolada is the amazing fruits that are available. Very delicious! Here’s an article about a cremolada shop in Miraflores.

I realize for many in the US today, the thought of icy cold drinks may not be appealing. Think summer!
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The Joy of Heirloom Seeds


There is nothing more fun & heartwarming (and bone warming too) this cold time of year than planting what will become the year’s garden harvest.

I’ve mentioned our favorite seed company – Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds before (see Peruvian Heirloom Seeds Arrive in the US)

We’ve used their seeds (and seed saved from these rare varieties,) for many years now. This year we decided to go all out and replenish what has been an aging supply of seeds. We purchased their Large Southern seed collection of 50 packs with over 30 varieties, and here’s what we have:

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2015 Resolution: Avoid GMO Foods


We find ourselves at a crucial moment in time. This is a moment where many of the policies that regulate our food and its future are being decided. It is key that we not only as consumers but most importantly as residents and stewards of the planet be educated on this subject, so we can be active and effective participants in these decisions. Otherwise the decision will be taken from us and will most certainly not be in our interest.  – Mathieu Asselin

via Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation.

A New Year

It’s the time of year where many of us reflect on our lives & some consider taking a more active stance in our own well being. It may be exercising more, quitting tobacco use, eating healthier, or maybe even making financial changes in our 401K or household budgets.

One thing for sure is that it is difficult to discover which foods contain GMO ingredients here in the US. Since food companies are not required to disclose the inclusion of GMOs in their products, we are forced to stick with organic items to even have an idea that we are eating healthy. In an environment such as this, having a garden is self defense.

Although gardening can fill an important part of our food consumption, most of us will have to continue to eat what we buy, here’s some tips on how to avoid GMOs:

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