I Left My Heart in Rapa Nui

Rapa Nui chocolate
Rapa Nui chocolate in all its glory.


I haven’t spoken much about this ’til now. Maybe I was ashamed of my gluttony; maybe I wanted to hold close to my heart the magic of those cocoa bean-filled days…and nights.

You see, where once the words Rapa Nui stirred visions of mysterious Easter Island (and a vague memory of a very dramatic, B-movie of the same name), it now remains forever linked in my heart with the most glorious of chocolate-eating — no, GORGING! — experiences. In. The. Freaking. World.

Ok, it’s time to get real. Here’s my choco cred: I lived in Belgium for a year. I have traveled to Switzerland. I’ve eaten good chocolate. And go figure, but the Rapa Nui chocolate shop in Bariloche, Argentina is abso-freaking-lutely delicious.

Now, locals and Argentinians will tell you in hushed, revered tones to go straight to Mamuschka, a competing chocolate shop. Of course, that was my first stop in town, and yes, it really way darn good. But perhaps, Mamuschka is resting on its laurels?

Because Rapa Nui’s chocolatey goodness was No. Joke.

A periodic indulgence over my 2 weeks in Bariloche would have seemed harmless, normal even. But I’m all about going big, and well, go big I did.

Turns out that on the Cau Cau boat trip around Lake Nahuel Huapi, the guides would offer passengers free chocolates from Rapa Nui. Sweet. Turns out these chocolates were housed in little boxes that served as 15% off coupons to the shop.

I sprang into action.

Like a wild woman, I began fumbling for discarded chocolate boxes: mine, Ayaz’s, stray ones on tables, those of my seat mate. By the time we docked I had amassed a pretty bevy of discount boxes. And I would use them … oh, I would use them!

In fact, I did. Going to Rapa Nui daily for a stretch. Referring to the salesman who was so kind, as “our friend.”

“Val,” Ayaz broke in, “He’s not actually our friend.”

Fast forward to present, where I find myself picking chocolate crumbs off the floor, eating chocolate for breakfast, and double-fisting chocolates for a mid-afternoon snack. I just needed a little hit. You know?

And on that note, here’s a little taste of Rapa Nui’s version of food porn, chocolate edition:

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