If Christmas is a Drink, It'll Be a Cup of Hot Tsokolate

Montezuma,  the great Aztec ruler and chocoholic, stored cacao  not gold in his treasury. His court is believed to consume as many as 50 pitchers of hot chocolate a day.  In ancient Aztec, cacao is so valuable that its bean is used as currency, and figured in the exchange of slaves and horses. To the ancient Mayans, chocolate was food for the gods, an indulgence reserved for nobles and warriors.  In the Philippines, it is the Spanish colonizers who brought cacao in 1600's.


If Christmas is a drink, it will be a cup of hot tsokolate... indeed I agree as what Clare Miranda wrote entitled "Cacao Loco" in Cebu Pacific's December in - flight magazine issue. A cup of hot tsokolate is perfect after attending misa de gallo in an early morning and pair it with suman or rice cake. In our hometown, Irosin, the best suman is made of squash combined with glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar and salt.  Champorado, is another traditional Pinoy breakfast which is a chocolate rice porridge. It is best served hot and  a few tablespoon of milk makes it tastes better.  Or if you're a true  Pinoy at heart,  it will be incomplete if it's not served with a few pieces of tuyo or dried fish.



In our backyard, there is a Cacao tree which stood way before my parents moved in our home twenty five years ago. This cacao tree  along with the other older trees are the most honest witnesses of the joys and sorrows of everyday life our family had. My lola used  to gather cacao leaves  she uses whenever she makes maruya or banana fritters. It is my mom who makes the best tablea (pure cacao in tablet) out of dried cacao seeds and I remember seeing her how she patiently mixes these powder in boiling water to create a thicker tsokolate.  She then would keep jars full of tableas to store a few for the New Year's eve and share to our neighbors and visiting relatives but, these however does not reach the New Year's eve as we alway sneak out and eat it like a black chocolate bar.


 In Davao,  there is a chocolate factory made from cacao beans the Askinosie Chocolate and one of their best-selling is the "77% Davao Dark Chocolate" and is almost out of stock often. They have this Askinosie Chocolate Factory tour which costs $3 only and they have their Chocolate University too which heps kids in their neighborhood.  At Figaro, a 100% Filipino-made coffe shop you can drop by and try their three cocoa-inspired drinks. "Each sip is communion with history, a yielding to a magic spell that is thousands of years in the making." says Clare as I read the ending of her article.


Source:  Clare Miranda of"Cacao Loco" & Image from Lasang Pinoy 21: Champorado at Tuyo

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