Chocolate was 1st cultivated by Ancient Mayans, but the way they used to consume it wasn’t like the sweet treats we have today. The Mayans preferred the method of consumption was a thick, frothy drink that was served cold. The terms Hot Chocolate and Hot Cocoa are usually used interchangeably, however, technically they’re as different as bittersweet chocolate and milk chocolate. The Hot cocoa is basically made from the cocoa powder, that’s the chocolate pressed free of all its’ richness, meaning that the fat of cocoa butter. The Hot chocolate is basically made from chocolate bars that have been melted into cream. It’s a rich decadent drink.
Origin of Hot Chocolate
The original hot-chocolate recipe was the mixture of ground cocoa beans, wine, water, & chile peppers. It did not take long for the Spaniards to start heating this mixture & sweetening it with some sugar. After it was introduced in England, some milk was added to the-then after dinner treat. The word chocolate is said to be derived from Mayan word “xocoatl”; the cocoa from Aztec word cacahuatl. Mexican Indian word chocolate comes from the combination of terms choco (that is, foam), atl (that is, water); since early chocolate was basically consumed in beverage form. Chocolate basically grows on trees, it appears in its’ raw state as melon like pods on 40 to 60-foot tall cocoa trees which are known botanically as “Theobroma cacao,” which basically means “food of the gods.” The tropical tree has grown wild in Central-America since the prehistoric times. The tree also grows in South-America, Africa, & parts of Indonesia. Cacao tree produces fruits about the size of small pineapples. Inside these fruits are the tree seeds, which are known as cocoa beans.
Mayan Hot chocolate has been drunk as a sweet beverage for many years. Archeologists say that Olmecs, the oldest civilization of Americas (1500 to 400 BC), were perhaps the 1st users of cacao, then followed by Maya, who used to consume cacao-based drinks which were made with the beans from the plantations in Chontalpa region of what’s now eastern Tabasco.
A beverage called ‘chocolatl’ which was made from some roasted cocoa beans, water, and some spice was the most important use, however, the cocoa beans were also valued as currency. Since cocoa beans were typically valuable, they were also given as gifts or presents at ceremonies like a child’s coming-of-age and at the religious gatherings. Merchants usually traded the cocoa beans for some other commodities like clothes, jade, & ceremonial feathers.
Mayan Hot Chocolate
- Two cups of whole milk
- Five ounces of dark chocolate bitter, sweet, ground
- 1 teaspoon of Allspice
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 teaspoon of ancho chili powder/Cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon of salt or sugar to taste
For Whipped Cream
- 3 tablespoons of whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- Preparation of Mayan Hot Chocolate
- Whisk all together the milk, the chocolate, the allspice, the vanilla, cayenne pepper and salt/sugar in a small saucepan over low heat, until the chocolate melts evenly.
- Simmer two to three minutes until thickened.
- Whisk so that foam form on to pop.
- Taste & whisk in salt/sugar if desired.
- In order to make a whipped cream: You can beat the cream til it begins to thicken.
- Add some vanilla.
- Continue beating til peaks form & cream reaches the desired consistency.
- Pour your hot chocolate into a mug, top it with the whipped cream and enjoy immediately.