Drinks Featured Ingredient — By Ben on 05 November 2008
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!

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About Author

grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(25) Readers Comments

  1. Ben, thanks for stopping by. Y mil gracias, querido, for buying the ebook. I’m so glad you liked it. Comments coming from you, a fine and talented cook and Hispanic historian, are very humbling to me. I’m just a Chicanita from el bordo. But I know what I love and I love what I know. My cultural heritage. Abrazos y besos.

  2. Ben, I forgot to ask you. Did you see that Fabby won the Iron Cupcake Challenge? Isn’t it great! I’m so happy for her.

  3. Hi Ben!

    As a chocoholics a true statement is – the real and original chocolate is always Mexican- for the variety and flavors. Certainly, American and European are great also but in other ways!
    By the way, hot chocolate is best and delicious for cold days but the same chilled is awesome in warm days too :)

  4. I can’t find my molinillo… Not a good thing especially after reading your post.

  5. I wish my abuelita made hot chocolate like this too. I love hearing about the history of chocolate: so thanks!

  6. I have seen these circular chocolates on television but have never come across them here. I would like to try them someday for the ultimate hot chocolate:D

  7. Ohhh Ben chocolate abuelita is my absolute favorite. I grew up drinking it and now I make it for my kids who just like you could have it every single day. I use milk too and one the chocolate melts I put small amounts in the blender and blend it, I just love the little foam on the top.

  8. Este chocolate caliente con unos churros calentitos, está de morirse!! (puedes ver la receta en mi blog)

    un saludo desde España
    Pilar

  9. You knew that if you put the word ‘chocolate’ I wouldn’t be able to resist!! I love this drink, and I’m craving one now.

  10. I’ve often wanted to try Abuelita but have never gotten it. Thanks to your endorsement, I’ll have to pick some up, it sounds great.

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