Now that, in my opinion, the most depressing and cold months of the year are upon us, my thoughts immediately turn to hot chocolate. It’s something soothing and comforting that eases my anxiety about the cold and darkness that I feel the world becomes in the middle of the winter. As my thoughts turn to places that are warmer, the idea crossed my mind that I should branch out and try new kinds of hot chocolate. The idea then hit me: why not try what many consider to be the “original” hot chocolate? The types that are a decedent of the Meso American drink and can be found in most any Mexican grocer. I went out on my hunt and found two types of Mexican drinking chocolates and a Molinillo to stir it properly.
I couldn’t wait to give these a go.
One note on the difference on Hot Cocoa and Hot Chocolate. Hot Cocoa used the de-fatted cocoa powder mixed with milk or water to make a drink. This is the kind you find on most supermarket shelves. Hot Chocolate is when you actually take a bar of chocolate and melt it into milk or water. It’s obviously richer, fattier and more delicious.
Ibarra: Comes in a round disc with instructions that are easy to follow. You chop off a certain number of wedges depending on how much hot chocolate you wish to make. Simple.
It was fun to make the hot chocolate, as the texture of the disc is very grainy, so it’s pretty easy to make precise cuts and it also melts quickly. Mexican hot chocolate, from what the Ibarra package says, uses hot water as a base, so I went with that in order to get the most authentic experience possible. Once the chocolate was melted and blended into my hot water, I took the Molinillo and placed the round end in my cup and rubbed the handled between my palms. This blends the chocolate further, as well as aerates the drink to make it nice and frothy.
The flavor is mild, so don’t expect this drink to be terribly rich. It has a good sweet chocolately flavor that’s kissed by cinnamon. It’s very comforting and I found myself wanting a second cup once I had finished my first.
My next test for this chocolate was to eat it as is. It obviously is much stronger in flavor eating it out of hand, and what I really found interesting about this was the textue. It’s very sandy, with the sugar granules still intact, so the chocolate broke easily and was immensely fun to chew. My only complaint was because it was so much fun to eat, it’s way too easy to polish off a disc before you realize what’s happened.
Moctezuma: This is essentially the same idea as the Ibarra chocolate, just a different brand. The flavor was pretty much the same, both as a drink and eaten alone. The only small differences I noticed was that this was a little sweeter and the cinnamon wasn’t as strong as the Ibarra.
I liked these, but not enough to buy them again. I prefer my hot chocolate to be thicker and more, well, chocolatety. These were great, they just didn’t fit my personal preferences.
Rating: Might Eat Again