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Nov 29, 2008 08:41 AM

Where to buy Mexican Chocolate?

I am going to Mexico in a couple of days and would like to buy some "mexican chocolate". I will be in the cancun/riviera maya area but will have a car. I am also looking to bring back some "mexican cinnamon". Can anyone help with where I can find these items???

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  1. Just about any supermarket or tienda de abarrotes will have at least Ibarra or Abuelita brands. (Just like in the States.)
    You'll have to search for more artesanal chocolate. As far as I know, the Riviera Maya is not noted as a chocolate producing region. Oaxaca, yes. and Michoacán.

    You can get canela as loose sticks in the mercados but if you prefer better packaging, most supermarkets will carry it in plastic bags.
    Of course, it's much more colorful and atmospheric to buy it in a mercado.

    1. Look for the Mayordomo brand, it's from Oaxaca and can be found in mercados.

      1. Agent99, the suggestion to check out local markets, whether an open-air tianguis style market or a real supermercado is realistic. In addition to the usual Ibarra and Abuelita chocolates I've almost always found some local or regional chocolate, and I always buy a package to bring home and experiment with. Of the different types I've tried, the Chocolate Uruapan was pretty dreadful, but the Chocolate Almendrado Organico was outstanding. The almendrado is from Chiapas, but I purchased it in Cuernavaca at a Superama, so clearly, they're distributing it in places other than Chiapas. If you do see Mayordomo, by all means buy it, though you can order it in the U.S. through Chocosphere at

        1. The chocolate you want to look and ask for is *chocolate de metate* (cho-co-LAH-teh deh meh-TAH-teh). It's hand ground, not machine made, and comes in rough-looking rounds. You might not find it in the Cancún area.

          Mexican cinnamon is available everywhere in Mexico.

          While you're in the country, look for Mexican vanilla, too. A really good and inexpensive brand is POSA.


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          7 Replies
          1. re: cristina

            Stay away from Mexican vanilla -- much of it is crap. If you can''t trust the source (and honestly, is a shop selling 2 T-shirts for $10 going to have good quality vanilla??), don't bother.


            If you want high-quality, reasonably-priced vanilla, go to Costco.

            1. re: ferret

              Ferret, I've lived in Mexico for nearly 30 years and know more than a little about the vanilla here. You can take POSA to the bank.

              Recently named the #1 food blog in the world...London Times

              1. re: cristina

                Did you see that I wrote "much of it is crap"? I absolutely stand by that. It doesn't mean it all is. However, there's absolutely no reason for anyone from the U.S. to buy vanilla in Mexico. You won't do better than Costco's price or quality.

                1. re: ferret

                  Actually.... the supply is insignificant on the world market... but quality Mexican vanilla is still the best out there... and no you can't find anything comparable to it in state side traditional channels (Costco etc.,)

                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                    And how can an average tourist discern "quality Mexican vanilla" from all the crap that's sold there? Much like "authentic Cuban cigars", there's so much knocked off for the tourist trade that it's not worth trying. And no, it;s not superior to any vanilla found here.

                    1. re: ferret

                      The 'average' tourist can buy whatever he or she wants. That tourist has probably heard only that vanilla is cheap in Mexico, has probably NOT heard that some of it has warfarin in it, and probably doesn't give a damn that his or her vanilla will taste bad and soon mold.

                      The original poster on this thread, on the other hand, is a way-above-average tourist because he or she posted on CH to find out what to buy and was given some counsel, including the name of an excellent product that is widely available.

                      Needless to say, she said, saying it anyway, you can believe whatever you like.


                      1. re: ferret

                        When something is good and fresh you can tell.......
                        Ferret I am very sorry that you have never smell or tasted a fresh pod of Vanilla from Papantla the smell is so sensual and the flavor is so perfect . I really wish one comes your way.
                        And For the Chocolate
                        El Mayordomo is an excelent brandnot so easy to find
                        Ibarra and Abuelita are good too almost any supermarket would have them.

            2. I would just check it is natural and not the artificial vainillina, which is really a byproduct from the paper industry (guácalas). If you can get vanilla pods...that would be the best source of flavor. Everyone who has tried mexican vanilla knows that it is distinctively superior, all of the sudden cookies start to taste better. And for chocolate....the best i have had was in chiapas or Oaxaca, there are chcocolate stores where they are grinding the cocoa beans right there...Wolker is good, the factory is in Tabasco so you might be able to find it in Cancun. People from the US usually ask "what´s a good brand of tequila, chocolate, mole...?" But here things are diffferent, the best chocolate, mole, tequila, mezcal are usually the ones without a brand name, you go to the place where these products are being made, check quality and buy them. Some of these small factories offer tours.