Calle Mina, south of the Mercado 20 de Noviembre, is lined with spice vendors selling plump bags of the chile-and-chocolate powder that makes up most Oaxacan moles. Cinnamon-flavoured chocolate powder is also available, for cooking or making into drinking chocolate. One of the best places in this area to try a mug of hot chocolate, laced with almond, cinnamon, sugar or chile and served with pan dulce, is , the Willy Wonka of Oaxaca; the main branch is at the corner of Mina and 20 de Noviembre. You can also buy pure cacao by the kilo and all sorts of chocolate products. Nearby at Mina 212 has a row of old bean-crushing machines and is drenched in the overpowering aroma of sweet cacao – choc addicts beware.

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