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Thursday
Nov102011

Appreciating Local Specialties

Chocolala Antigua. Photo by rworangeWorld class specialties from unexpected places. A recent trip to Central America reminded me that we are often not aware of local specialties or at least badly underestimate their quality because we think we know what is supposed to be "world class". For example, the common wisdom goes that the best chocolate must come from Belgium or Switzerland. In supermarkets we buy the branded, fancy packaged, industrialized version of what used to be a traditional specialty from these countries. The best chocolate I had this year comes from ... Guatemala. The city of Antigua has a rich variety of chocolatiers and their quality and creativity is stunning. Ever tried hand-made chocolate with a touch of chili, cumin, pepper, orange? It's from a different world, literally. How many places have we visited without looking or asking for local specialties?

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