Saturday, November 2, 2013

Chocolate In The Oaxacan Fashion For Days Of The Dead

The people of Oaxaca, primary Zapotec and Mixtecs, have their own unique ways of celebrating Dias de los Muertos.  During cooling days, marked by thick smoke fro literally hundreds of candles and bonfire, warm cups and bowls of hot chocolate are drunk in large quantities.  This recipe was collected locally from Emilia Arroyo de Cebrera by Nancy Zaslavsky and put into her book A Cook's Tour of Mexico.  This is truly from scratch recipe, but as you can see above, Oaxacan chocolate rounds can be purchased.

Oaxacan Chocolate

2 lb. roasted cocoa beans
1 oz. canela, that is true soft cinnamon
3 oz. shelled almonds
3 lbs. sugar

Mill this in an electric mill or on a traditional metate, start with the first 3 ingredients and grind thoroughly.  Then regrind, after adding the sugar, spread on to a cookie sheet to harden.  Before it gets too hard, score line in both directions to make 2 inch squares (do not cut through).  When cool, break into pieces along the score marks and store in an air tight place.  There are also round chocolate molds that can be purchased to make the chocolate shapes as seen above.

Ground chocolate on a Metate

You can make this into whatever kind of chocolate beverage you prefer, but int Oaxaca, it is traditional to add a little toasted colored cornmeal to the mix.  The base used to be plain water, now it is cow's milk.  It should highly frothed as well.  If you don't have a traditional Milinillo, a small battery powered whisk works wonders!

A Milinillo

Traditional Marigolds:  Gold and Purple Flower to the Dead

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