Tag Archives: semi-sweet chocolate

Authentic Homemade Hot Chocolate

28 Nov

Written and photographed by Rebekah Peppler

Rich, creamy and impossibly decadent, hot chocolate has lived up to its name as a drink fit for gods, warriors and kings for millennium. That is until America (okay, and Britain) got its sticky fingers all over it.While I grew up sipping my fair share instant hot cocoa made popular by brands like Nestlé and Swiss Miss, the distinction between hot cocoa and hot chocolate is much more than one word. It’s a varied history, rife with centuries of sweet, cocoa bean-laden roots.

Making its entrée into civilization around 1000 B.C., cocoa was first harvested by the Olmecs and made into a liquid by their better-known successors the Mayans, who then shared it with the Aztecs. The Aztecs, prodigious people as they were, bestowed it with the title Theobroma or “food of the gods”, spiced it with chili powder, honey and vanilla and served it lukewarm to give strength to their warriors.

When the conquistadors returned to Spain with their plunder of cocoa they replaced the Aztec’s spices with sugar, the warriors with the upper class, served it hot and kept it a secret for nearly a century. After word got out about the potation, hot chocolate spread rapidly amidst the high societies of Europe, picking up a proclivity for milk in Britain and maintaining its elitist status. Continue reading