- Food and Cooking
Tropical Cooking with Travel Man - 1st Beverage: Home-prepared Cocoa Drink
Every heard of cocoa drink? I will give you some pointers on how to make it at home with the ingredients available. Thanks to the Mayans, (circa 15th century) of South America who popularized this tonic drink or beverage that is considered as 'official drink of the gods' centuries ago.
The Spanish conquistadors (invaders) brought its variety at the Philippine shore and success stories on planting kakaw (cocoa plant) contributed to the unstable economy of the country. Families that belong at the marginal line or poverty threshold cultivate this crop side by side with coffee trees. The propagation is assisted by the government as an alternative means of livelihood of common people in the countryside.
Although the production is not enough to include the country as one of the top ten growers of cacao around the world, it is the main source of livelihood as local cocoa or cacao balls are being vended house-to-house by mothers who also dry, roast and ground cocoa seeds for that crude chocolate (with added brown sugar on it).
Considered the best alternative for coffee as cocoa drink is rich in flavanoids, known to benefit our cardiovascular system. In other words, it is good for the heart.
Lovers of chocolates should also love this home-made drink.
If you love parties, try mixing your drinks with cocoa liqueur. The aroma is different and you can't forget the burden of alcohol content on that drink you've chosen or ordered.
Anyways, at this very moment, I tell you, I rekindle my liking on homemade cocoa drink as the summer starts and its season peaks these days.
The 'Drama' of making the Cocoa Drink
After eating the fresh-sweet cacao seeds from the ripen pod, you must sundry the seeds for two or three days.
- Roast the dried cacao seeds on the frying pan. The aroma will tell you if it's just roasted already. The smell is different from the burnt ones.
- You can pound it using mortar and pestle or in a clean cheese cloth using wooden mallet.
- Strain it to get the finest granules. Repeat Step 3 if there are large granules left. If you have a coffee grinder, you can also use it at the start of Step 2.
- For model the home-made cacao chocolate, dilute it with water just enough to moisten the mixture. Add the brown sugar.
- You can manually shape it round or flatten with molders of different shapes.
- Put in a Ziploc container then store in the refrigerator for future use.
You can omit Steps 4,5 & 6 if you want to make a Hot Cocoa Drink in a jiffy.
Variations of Cocoa Drink
- You can add an evaporated or sweetened canned milk or even powdered milk on the cacao drink.
- It is more stylish if you'll have a cacao latte. Just add heavy cream at the top then have a sip on it.
- Tropical islanders of the Philippines often add or cook it with coconut milk. Unsuspecting guests will never know if it's hot, lukewarm or cold because they cannot see its smoke. The indicator is that the demitasse cup is hot and that's a warning that you must slowly sip it because your tongue might get hurt if your gulp the content abruptly. It is mostly prepared during town or barangay fiesta. You can drink it along with prepared sticky rice delicacies, like puto (rice cake).
- Some cocoa drink producers even mix flavorings on it for iced candies and cold preparations. Vanilla essence is the most appropriate flavoring for cocoa drink.
More About Cocoa and related things
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