TWO YEARS AGO, a couple from Houston stopped in to Eldora Chocolate, in Albuquerque, for a tour and tasting. When owner Steve Prickett asked the visitors what else they were doing in town, they said, “Nothing. We came for the tour and to buy chocolate. We do this in every state.”
Now, Prickett says, “I’m getting that kind of visit at least once a week.” The store’s popularity could stem from Eldora’s No. 4 status on USA Today’s 2023 list of the 10 best chocolate shops across the United States. That honor is grounded in Eldora being one of only a handful of bean-to-bar chocolate makers in New Mexico, meaning the company is wholly committed to the use of organic, fair-trade ingredients and artisan techniques.
Eldora’s drinking chocolate, made in the Aztec and Olmec traditions, uses beans sourced from around the world. “We personalize it using New Mexico flavors,” Prickett says. During the holiday season, in addition to classic, chai, and mole varieties, Eldora offers pumpkin spice and peppermint drinking chocolates mixed with customers’ choice of water, grass-fed milk, or oat milk. “It turns it into a real experience versus just grabbing a cup of hot chocolate,” he says.
In December, tours of the factory—complete with I Love Lucy–style plastic hairnets—take place Tuesday through Thursday at 1 p.m. Sign up on Eldora’s website, where drinking-chocolate mixes are available to order along with truffles, single-origin chocolate bars, gift baskets, and other seasonal delights.
Hot chocolate has never tasted so scrumptious, thanks to New Mexico red chile and a host of holiday spices, in this recipe from chef Rocky Durham, which appears in The New Mexico Magazine Centennial Cookbook. ¡Salud!