Saturday, May 22, 2010

Choco, Choco, Chocolate

Meet the Lopez family. Ingrid (my teacher in front) and her mother behind. Her mother is an indigenous woman that has come from a long line of chocolate Maya makers. The last three hundred years. We got to check out the special, simple, "healthy" process.

After the fruit is harvested, the beans are separated and dried on special woven mats...outside or inside, depending on the season.
First Dona Victoria, above, puts the chocolate beans in a grinder. She doesn't add fat, milk, or sugar. She grinds plain, simple, chocolate.
Next, Dona Victoria adds sugar. Not white processed, bleached sugar, but bricks of pure, sane sugar that she has ground down to a powder.
Next add some ground vanilla as above (or cinnamon), mix it around and put it through the grinder on a finer setting for the second time around.
You have two options next. Either mold the warm chocolate into a block or mold, or put it in a jug, add boiling water, and beat it with one of the hand held beaters above (the one on the left is Guatemalan, the one on the right is Mexican. Yes, the Mexican one seems a lot more sophisticated. And yes, they used the Mexican one).
Pour and enjoy!
And let's not forget to buy any for friends and family to try back home. Don't worry Dona Victoria doesn't have trouble selling her goods. People come from all over and she has been invited to the USA, Spain and elsewhere to demonstrate the traditional process and sell to all the eager chocolate lovers around the world.

1 comment:

  1. Of all of the places you have written about, and the hot springs were impressive, I've not wanted to join you more than this one. First, I love chocolate. Second, I'm fascinated by traditional food preparation. Third I cannot imagin how great that place must have smelled. Cinnamon and chocolate, I can get behind that. It's like I've finally accepted adulthood and fatherhood. Lively cities, keep 'em. Idilic hikes, sounds like a lot of work. Travel a quater of the circumference of the earth for desert, I'm in. Middle age, here I come. No, Here I am!