We are well and truly into December now and Christmas is getting closer so it’s time to talk about festive drinks, and what better beverage to enjoy in the cold winter months than hot cocoa.
Many moons ago the hot chocolate drink was first made by the Mayan people (or at least that’s what is believed anyway), then shortly after another cocoa drink was made by the Aztecs in 1400 AD/CE. It came to Europe from Mexico but has changed a lot since then.
Culture and Cocoa
Not only has Hot Chocolate changed a lot over time, but there are ample different ways to make it and most countries have their own name for it too.
A Mexican Hot Chocolate that is usually eaten with a churro – this specific drink is made with chocolate atole, Amasa de long with maiz or masa harina, which is flour that’s used to make tortillas. It has a really chunky texture and is a perfect winter treat.
Italy: Cioccolata Calda
Indulge in an incredibly thick Italian hot cocoa this Christmas – similar to the Mexican cocoa (Champurrado) it uses corn-starch to create the creamy texture. The Cioccolata Calda is almost identical to the Champurrado only it is served with a Panettone (an Italian sweet bread) rather than a churro.
India: Chai Hot Chocolate
No recipe from India would be perfect without a blend of spices to make it complete and this stands true for their Hot Chocolate. India mix chai and cocoa for the perfect winter drink twist – with mixed ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom and white chocolate. If you are looking to try new cocoa this Christmas, this is one for you!
France: Le Chocolat Chaud
A silky smooth luscious Hot Chocolate made with heavy cream, bittersweet cocoa and sometimes a sweetener to make things extra sweet! This drink is usually served with a bowl of whipped cream which gives it that silky smooth texture once mixed.
The last stop on our journey around the globe for the perfect Hot Chocolate this Christmas is one for the adventurous drinkers.
Columbia: Hot Chocolate with cheese (yes you read that right)
This special cocoa has a very interesting and unique ingredient – cheese cubes. Now, this will not be for everyone but sweet and salty works well for the tastebuds with a lot of foods, so why not hot chocolate? Brew a warm mug with Columbian bitter chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, and honey, then add the cheese cubes and allow them to melt into the cocoa.
It might be the best out of the lot for cheese lovers (the best cheeses to use are mozzarella or cheese curds) but I’m not sure how this one will go down with the cocoa fanatics out there!
So why not try something other than our usual and boring Cadburys this Christmas and mix things up a little with cocoa from around the world!
Feature image credit: glamour.com