Mexican Chocolate

One of the greatest things that Mexico has given the world is chocolate. I love chocolate, I could eat chocolate every single day of my life until I die (of diabetes or any other weight related disease), but I try to restrain myself to just a couple of days a week.

This past Día de muertos I had a piece of pan de muerto with some hot Mexican chocolate. The perfect combination for a cool autumn night. How is a hot cup of Mexican chocolate any different from a cup of hot cocoa? I will let my good friend Teresa of Mexican Chocolate Lore and More answer that question:

Mexican Chocolate is flavored with cinnamon, sugar, and cacao nibs. It’s gritty but melts just like the smooth American and European chocolate you’re used to. The flavor is intense. It can be used for baking breads and desserts, for sauces, and in beverages.

The history of chocolate, like any other food, is a very interesting one. Did you know that the Aztec emperor Montezuma drank thick chocolate dyed red? The drink was so prestigious that it was served in golden goblets that were thrown away after only one use! I would love to write an essay about chocolate history, but that would be too long for this blog and there are great sites out there that already have timelines of the history of chocolate. This link is one of my favorites.

Hot Mexican chocolate was one of my favorite drinks when we visited my dad’s little town in the Mixteca Sierra. I remember we used to buy circular chocolate bars from a very old lady who made them by hand. My dad and grandma prepared theirs in boiling water, but I always demanded milk for mine, which had generally been milked that same morning. That was truly a very prestigious drink.

Now, I always keep Mexican chocolate in my pantry. I usually get Nestle-Abuelita brand, although Ibarra is another popular brand I’ve seen in grocery stores up here. Don’t be scared by the old lady’s picture on the package. Her name is Sara Garcia, a beloved actress from the Mexican cinema golden age back in the 1920’s and 1930’s. She’s Mexico’s abuelita (grandma).

Mexican chocolate is used for many things, but to make hot chocolate you only need to bring one liter of milk to a boil in a saucepan, add one chocolate bar and stir constantly until melted. Hot Mexican chocolate is a delicious and timeless beverage for the emperor and empress of the house.

¡Buen provecho!


  • I totally agree about the mexican hot chocolate! I love it!

  • I have half a dozen molinillos that I’ve brought back from trips to Mexico, just for making this hot chocolate. Delicious!

  • I am going to have to get some real Mexican chocolate next time I’m at that Latin store I told you about.

  • Delicious and yum! Sounds great Ben.

  • Ben, how exciting to see you posting about one of my favorite subjects. I love chocolate, but I especially love Mexican chocolate because the aroma alone brings back many fond memories of my Grandmother cooking and baking in the kitchen.

  • Wow – this sounds wonderful! Two very good friends of mine are travelling in Mexico as we speak – could be time to ask for a package to be sent home!

  • simply awesome… :)

  • Mexican hot chocolate is one of the best things on earth. There is a coffee shop here that will make your mocha with it, yum!

  • Amazing how we all come from different cultures and yet share the same childhood memories. Your post brought back remembrances of a favorite aunt of mine. She would always hand whip this chocolate with steamed milk and for extra goodness, she would whip in two tablespoons or so of smooth peanut butter to the mixture. Oh, how I enjoyed my chocolatey moustache!

  • I absolutely love Mexican chocolate and this kind of hot chocolate. What comfort!

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