Today, for lunch, I walked down to the artisan market and bought a hot chocolate and a sandwich made of fresh pork chicharrònes and slices of sweet potato. The hot chocolate is made from the cacao paste, sugar, and water, and heated with a vanilla bean and a few cloves in the liquid. It's wonderful. The only thing I would add to it would be a touch of ground cayenne pepper. I have trouble with the gray winter days in Lima, I have trouble with the language sometimes, and I am often caught unaware by the peculiarities of the culture, but the food is always wonderful for me. I have discovered that certain vendors are clean and careful with their food preparation and certain others are completely unsafe in their methods, so I go to my tried and true ones.
They sell hot chocolate made with cacao in the institute where I work, but very often, they don't add enough water or milk to the cacao and it turns out really thick and greasy. Still, where else would I get to experience real chocolate made straight from the cocoa* bean while loud Andean pipes and singers with falsetto voices wailed in the background?
*edited to read "cocoa" instead of "coco" for the sake of clarity.