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The chocolate shake’s mexican ancestor

Cacao, one of Mexico’s earliest culinary gifts to the world, was among the  principal taste profiles showcased at last weekend’s Festival del Café, Chocolate y Vino that drew hundreds of visitors to the Ajijic Malecón.

Chocolate products were presented in myriad forms, from traditional tablets used to prepare hot chocolate to elegantly decorated gourmet chocolate candies. Something rarely offered in the local marketplace is espuma de cacao, a foamy and invigorating cool beverage prepared in giant clay vats.

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Based on closely guarded recipes dating back to the pre-Hispanic era, basic ingredients generally include cacao, toasted maize, crude sugar and cinnamon that are ground together, combined with ice cold water and vigorously beaten with a hand-held molinillo wood beater to create a top layer of thick froth.

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