Museo del Chocolate

3rdarm rick bayless frontera grill staff trip xoco yucatan merida maya uxmal cochinita pibil poc chuc arthur mullen manager

I am a guide for chocolate tours in the US, so every time I get to Mexico my favorite part is learning more about the native cacao. On this trip to the Yucatan (where my restaurant sources our cacao) we visited the Chocolate Museum for a guided tour.

3rdarm rick bayless frontera grill staff trip xoco yucatan merida maya uxmal cochinita pibil poc chuc arthur mullen manager

There were many neat stories I learned from this beautiful, brand new museum. For example, damp, shaded, partially dried up cenotes make the perfect habitat for cacao trees in the Yucatan. And in the days of the Mayan empire, when cacao was currency, ten cacao beans would buy a hare.

3rdarm rick bayless frontera grill staff trip xoco yucatan merida maya uxmal cochinita pibil poc chuc arthur mullen manager

The highlights of the visit were the ancient Mayan rain ceremony, where the priest individually blessed everyone in our group. He lingered extra long over my boss Carlos, who filled up with energy, and in that moment was given his eagle name: Jaguar Paw.

3rdarm rick bayless frontera grill staff trip xoco yucatan merida maya uxmal cochinita pibil poc chuc arthur mullen manager

My favorite part came at the end, with the chocolate talk and tasting. I had never tasted cacao brewed with achiote and no sugar. This chocolate was red as my blood, and as soon as it pumped to my heart, I was ready for the ruins at Uxmal.

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