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Chocolate from Mexico?

- Brianna Nema

Where did chocolate originate?

Hersey’s chocolate can’t compete with the traditional style of Mexican chocolate. I have always been a huge chocolate fan, yet after vacationing in Mexico, a whole new chocolate experience will forever be remembered. I had the opportunity to learn how traditional Mexican chocolate taste and how it is created.

 

In the open market on the streets of Oaxaca (pronounced like wahaka), Mexico, all the food is fresh and arranged neatly on wooden stands. In the market, my mother and I watched as a young sales man used an apparatus, almost 3 and a half feet tall, to grind up cocoa beans, which is the basic ingredient for all chocolate and it was first found during the time of they Aztecs and Maya in Mexico.

Using this machine, chocolate can be seen fabricated within seconds. First, the cocoa beans were placed in a basket and mixed with cinnamon, sugar, and almonds. The mixture was then dumped into the opening of the machine. The machine worked its magic with the help of the man pushing the mixture through the mouth of the machine. It grounded the mixture into a brown glue like substance which is then placed into the machine once more and it comes out to a form a gooey and smooth essence called chocolate.

The chocolate was put in a plastic container for an elderly women  who bought the chocolate for her convenience. With the help of my mother’s Spanish speaking skills, we were told by the women that the sticky chocolate is hardened into a variety of shapes, but it is mainly bought in bars or disks. Other ingredients such as sesame seeds, vanilla, an assortment of different nuts can also be found in the chocolate. Mexican chocolate has a grainy texture when first chewed, yet the taste is difficult to describe. It is not completely similar to the chocolate we devour in America, however it still is sugary and has the chocolate aroma from back home.

There is nothing better than having chocolate in liquid form. Yep, hot chocolate was my daily beverage! While dinning in Mexico, you are always asked if you want ‘con agua’(with water) or ‘con leche’(with milk). But of course, chocolate mixed with milk is rich and thick, just the way its should be. Every restaurant’s or small modern cafe’s hot chocolate had a slightly different taste.  The more cocoa power, the more the chocolate flavor can be tasted. If I had learned anything from my trip to Mexico, it is that Mexico is notorious for its irresistible chocolate.

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