Hot Chocolate - A Drink From Long Ago
Can you imagine a better way to warm up than with a big mug of hot chocolate on a cold windy winter’s night? Things sure have changed from the xocolatl as it was known by the Mayans.
The Origins of Hot Chocolate
Xocolatl when it was transported to Europe by the conquistadors, was the reserve of the rich who first called the drink itself chocolate. Later, when solid bars of chocolate became more common, the term “hot chocolate” was used to avoid confusion. In fact at first the beverage was consumed cold and had a spicy flavor and was valued as much for its healing properties as much as an exclusive treat.
Originally, chili was a key ingredient of the drink hence the spicy overtones. It is only today that chili is making reappearance in chocolate as an enhancer of the cacao bean base of all good chocolate.
The xocolatl was first boiled then allowed to rest and was later drunk cold as a frothy but bitter concoction. The Europeans initially did not find the drink in its original from to suit their palate and made numerous changes, including using milk instead of water and adding sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. The Europeans also preferred their drink hot instead of cold, leading to what we now know as hot chocolate.
Varieties Available Today
Hot chocolate or hot cocoa, which came first? The Europeans were the first to melt chocolate bars in milk and called it hot chocolate. Cocoa powder became the base of a very different drink with a more bitter flavor. But the two drinks eventually malted into each other and the term hot chocolate was adopted as a generic term for both methods. The only real common ingredient however was milk and at least one form of a cacao bean!
You will quickly find a shop that will make your chocolate drink “just right”. You can take the same ingredients for every drink but it’s how you use them that matters. A little bit like coffee. If you don’t treat the ingredients right, you’ll ruin the drink. Of course there are a thousand and one varieties open to you, from frozen hot chocolate to fruit and herb infused varieties. It seems that there is no end in sight.
You can look at online services and find plenty of home delivery services. Several pre mixed powdered versions of all the latest drinks are just waiting for your pleasure!
About the Author: Michael is the owner of Chocolate Lovers, the BEST site for all things chocolate. You will also find great chocolate based gift ideas at www.ChocolateMad.com