jueves, 17 de febrero de 2011

A HOT CHOCOLATE AFFAIR

A very good friend of mine once told me that only a true chocolate expert can know whether or not the ingredients found within a single cup of hot chocolate are real. Well, I may not be an expert on chocolate, or many other things for that matter, but I can say I am an expert on my feelings and senses and I think I can recognize when something is truly authentic and one of a kind.

My love affair with chocolate began long ago. I can still remember my mother in the kitchen mixing milk with chocolate powder, just for the sake of me actually drinking milk. Easter, Christmas, Birthdays, and Valentine's Days were all brought together by delicious chocolaty treats. And who could ever resist the temptation of having only one chocolate kiss? Definitely not me.

I guess I can admit without guilt that I've had my share of chocolates during my existence. Some sweet, some bitter or dark, others bittersweet and even sour. And of course chocolates come in all shapes and sizes. Some crunchy with almonds, and others creamy with cherry fillings. In deed, you never do know what you're going to get. But what most people around the world don't know is that chocolate in its original version was once a drink, and to most of our surprise a bitter one.

The true history of chocolate can be traced back to pre-historic times when the Mayans and Aztecs of Mexico began to use it as early as 600 a.d., and actually worshiped the cocoa bean as a gift from the heavens. By grilling and crushing the cocoa beans on burning stones, a paste was obtained and then heated with water, vanilla, pepper, cinnamon, and other spices to make Xocolatl, a chocolate drink.

Most of us have probably had several versions of chocolate drinks, but only those who have been to Oaxaca have had the opportunity to have one of the most delightful chocolate experiences in the world. Famous for chocolate, Oaxaca houses the best hot chocolate I have ever tried. From the moment the steamy and foamy cup of Mayordomo hot chocolate sits on the table, an aroma of cinnamon and spices immediately transports you to the most magnificent moment of your childhood. And after taking it in for a couple of seconds it is simply impossible to put the cup down once you've had the first sip.

Having a cup of hot chocolate is definitely a must and most pleasurable experience during a stay in the magical state of Oaxaca, Mexico. But of course, like all things in life that we like, and like most things chocolate, we're always left wanting more. Well, luckily for us we can take a box of Mayordomo hot chocolate home. Unfortunately, one or two boxes are barely sufficient to get by, but it is certainly enough to make you want to go back.





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