Monday, December 27, 2010

Mexican Hot Chocolate "Chocolate Caliente"

We have to thank Mexico for giving the world lots of things used nowadays, but one of the best jewels Mexico gave to the world was Cacao, which later on was processed and turned into chocolate. During the pre-Hispanic period, chocolate was a drink reserved for nobles who only drank it on very special occasions. The plebeians were not allowed to have the drink of the Gods and they only drank atole and water, they were only allowed to drink chocolate if ordered by the nobles on particular feast days. After the Spanish conquest, chocolate became a more popular drink but it was very expensive. Cacao was one of the most demanded products by the Spaniards who accepted it as currency. Oaxaca was and still continues to be one of the principal markets for the commerce of Cacao, the Dominican friars desacralized the use of cacao and accepted it as a source of energy and a remedy for sunstroke, sores, kidney and stomach problems.

Although chocolate became very popular among the clergy, there were those who criticized the use of it outside a medicinal context. Some friars believed that the devil perverted this "medicine" by the sinful addition of sugar and by drinking it at all hours of day saying it will be one of the causes of an epidemic that decimated the population. Other Dominicans defended chocolate as it provided a source of energy and a consolation to the heart. Nevertheless, this succulent drink was never absent during the religious fiestas. In life outside the convent, chocolate was used until the seventeenth century when it was dissolved in hot water or milk and sweetened with raw sugar, vanilla or cinnamon.



The Spaniards introduced chocolate to the rest of Europe making it one of the most desired products amongst different cultures. Hot chocolate was born to satisfy Spaniards palates as an adaptation of the indigenous Oaxacan drink that was drunk cold. The cacao was mixed with ground corn, diluted with water and sweetened with honey, it was also flavoured with chiles or herbs. Even though around the world chocolate has been modified from the ancient ways it was drunk, many people in Oaxaca still continue to prepare it in their unique ways. Even now, some Oaxacan communities still believe drinking chocolate signifies honoring life, being at one with family and friends, God and the dead. This is probably why chocolate never misses an important celebration in Mexico. The thick and delicious foam on the chocolate means happiness, brotherhood and hope. There is No fiesta without Chocolate.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Ingredients and Directions:

It really depends on where you buy your chocolate to really know the quantity and measures. You will need to play with quantities to get the flavour that is right for you.
I bought artesanal Mexican chocolate from Puebla grounded to perfection with sugar and cinnamon made by the indigenous people. The result was a smooth, NOT GRAINY AT ALL, so full of flavour, HOT chocolate!!
Ingredients for this one was only 1 tablet per 2 cups of whole milk and it was simply perfect!!


But as I won't have Puebla so close to me now that I am back in Toronto, I bought fair trade chocolate from Chocosol which in fact comes from Oaxaca. From Chocosol's Chocolate I used 40g of Chocolate per 800ml of whole milk, then I added sugar to taste, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 whole clove and a bit of vanilla. It was perfect, just the way I like it!!!...

Remember to use your molinillo in the end, to make that fantastic foam which is the main characteristic of Mexican Hot Chocolate!



11 comments:

  1. Love it! I'm having a cup of that delicious gods drink right now :)

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  2. I have never tried anything like that, I just know it would be perfect for the cold rain that is coming. Very cool post. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. An excellent post. So much information and thanks for the chocolate recommendation. I love those cups you have! Great pic!

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  4. Thanks for teaching us so much about this delicious mexican hot chocolate. I did not know that about that foam on the top. Looks great!

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  5. Oh, this reminds me of the Mexican Mocha I always order at my favorite coffee shop! I love all the background you provided!

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  6. What a neat post. And Mexican Hot Chocolate sounds like the perfect new recipe to try in this COLD weather. Happy New Year!

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  7. Chocolate caliente reminds me of a song I learned in a basic Spanish class :) Anyway it looks delicious.

    Happy New Year!

    Nisrine

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  8. Your foamy cup of good Mexican hot chocolate looks so inviting---beautiful, and delicious.
    Best wishes for a wonderful new year-Nancy

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  9. Oh I would love to try this. I really love the mix of sweet and a little spice. Now that its getting so cold, this drink would be an absolute treat.
    *kisses* HH

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  10. Oh how I could use a big mug of that right now! I've always enjoyed Mexican hot chocolate because it's got a bit more flavor (with the spices) than the traditional goopy sweet hot chocolate. Living in LA I think I can actually get my hands on some of those discs...I'm going to have to look now.

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  11. Oh! These caliente chocolate sure are very welcome...specially during this cold weather...so comforting :-) Happy New Year!

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