Chocoholics Guide to Chocolate Drinks
Did you know, that chocolate was first introduced to the world as a beverage rather than a desert. Cacao trees produce the seeds that most people think of as "chocolate beans."
The Cacao tree is indigenous to Mexico and Central America, and the Native Indians believed the tree to be a sacred gift from God.
Chocolate beans were so highly valued in ancient Mexico, that the Aztec Indians used them for trade as currency.
The Indians of Mexico produced a sacredly regarded chocolate beverage made with roasted cacao beans, corn and chili pepper, known as "chocolatl," it was prepared to be used by priests during religious ceremonies.
A Brief History of Chocolate Beverages
Christopher Columbus became the first European (or any outsider) to be introduced to Chocolate in 1502, when it was offered to him by the Native Indians.
In 1519 the Mexicans offered chocolatl to the Spanish conquistador, Herman Cortez - he took it back to Spain (then promptly proceeded to invade the territory of the gracious Mexican people) where they added sugar to the bitter chocolate beverage, and they tried to keep it a secret.
Eventually, the secret got out (someone spilled the chocolate beans...), the drink became a staple in the homes of the wealthy classes throughout the world (chocolate was costly), eventually the prices dropped, and here we are today with envelopes of chocolate powder (hot chocolate) being sold in packs of 12 for only 1 U.S. dollar.
Chocolate Liquor is actually a deep brown, oily paste that contains no alcohol.
The solidified form of chocolate liquor is Baker's Chocolate (or baking chocolate).
When the fat is removed from baking chocolate, it then becomes Cocoa Butter. When cocoa butter is ground down it then becomes Cocoa Powder. When you add cocoa butter to liquor, you get Confectionery Chocolate.
White Chocolate contains absolutely no chocolate liquor; it is made up of mainly cocoa butter, flavorings, milk solids and sweeteners. Die-had chocoholics claim that white chocolate is not real chocolate.
The recipe for traditional chocolate the that we know and love so well is a delicious concoction of chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla and milk.
Chocolate contains a mild stimulants that are partially responsible for its "addictive" qualities...along with its amazing taste.
POPULAR CHOCOLATE DRINKS
Hot Chocolate - is typically sold in packs and that contain a powdery chocolate that is combined with hot water.
Homemade hot chocolate is far superior to that stuff that is sold in packets, and it is traditionally prepared with shaved slivers of chocolate, melted chocolate, or cocoa powder, sugar and heated milk.
Cocoa - in the United States, the terms cocoa and hot chocolate are synonymous.
However, in most parts of the world, cocoa is virtually hot chocolate with the cocoa butter removed (the cocoa butter in hot chocolate comes from the slivers of chocolate or melted chocolate) - thus, cocoa is lower in fat that hot chocolate in many parts of the world.
Cafe Mocha - is one third espresso, two-thirds steamed milk, and sweetened cocoa powder. It is also called a Mocha Latte.
There is a white chocolate variant of this drink, that is made by adding white chocolate instead of cocoa powder.
Chocolate Milk - is a cold drink made with whole white milk (or lowered fat versions for the healthy set) mixed with specifically blended cocoa powder.
In the U.S., chocolate powder mixes can be added to white milk to make the drink, or it is sold in an iced, premixed fashion.
Champurrado (Chocolate Atole) - is a thick, rich, hot beverage made with Mexican chocolate (no substitute), thickened with masa (a corn-based dough - it's delicious, just go with it), and sweetened with piloncillo (a Mexican sugar that has the taste of molasses).
Chocolate YooHoo - is a commercialized chocolate beverage manufactured by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.
According to its label, YooHoo is made of water, high-fructose corn syrup, dairy whey, non-fat dry milk, cocoa, and a host of other ingredients that do not sound pleasing to the palate.
However, YooHoo is delicious in its intended frosty state.
Chocolate Milkshake - is chocolate ice cream, blended with milk chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup or powder, and milk.
As you can see, there are many ways to make a chocolate milkshake, individual preferences prevail.
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