When it comes to our great loves, we love shoes and chocolate. Well, this next story isn’t about shoes. Which means — forget the diet! It’s time to take a bite out of some chocolate.
Gene Wilder (as Willy Wonka): “Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.”
That’s Willy Wonka from the classic film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” Well move over Willy — and make room for Miami’s Exquisito Chocolate.
Carolina Quijano, chocolate maker: “Exquisito Chocolate is a chocolate factory in Little Havana that produces all its chocolate from cocoa beans. And we produce truffle bars and all other types of confections.”
You won’t find Oompa Loompas working here, but you’ll find out a lot about this sweet treat.
Carolina Quijano: “We are sort of Miami’s Willy Wonka, if you will. We work directly with different farmers and we produce the chocolate in our artisan craft space to make every single chocolate bar and bon bon from scratch.”
The cocoa beans come from Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Colombia and Guatemala.
Carolina Quijano: “We start from the raw cocoa bean, we roast it, grind it and refine it over four days in order to make the chocolate base for all of our products.”
There aren’t any added preservatives or fats … it’s just chocolate.
Carolina Quijano: “We like the chocolate flavor to shine, and that is why we only add some unrefined organic cane sugar to our cocoa beans.”
Here you can watch the magic happen — and buy some too.
Carolina Quijano: “Our factory is open to the public. We do have a small retail space where people can by our products directly from us. And they can schedule tours to see and make chocolate with us.”
They’re making and selling chocolate bars, candy-covered treats and hand-painted truffles.
Melissa Benhaim, customer: “It’s more of a rich, textured taste. You get the flavor of whatever it is in there — if it’s the fruit or the alcohol in the ganache. They all have a strong, but not overpowering factor.”
If you need reassurance, this is the real deal … the quality is in the name.
Carolina Quijano: “Exquisito in Spanish is the best complement you can get. It’s exquisite, it’s delicious, it deserves all the praise and reverence.”
Exquisito Chocolates is open Thursday through Sunday.
For more information on hours and tours, click on the link below.
FOR MORE INFO:
2606 SW 8th St.
Miami, FL 33135
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