Nostalgia Mexicana - ChocolateWednesday, August 13, 2008
I have written about chocolate and specifically about Mexican chocolate here. Chocolate has been in my mind of late because in the evenings when I am in bed reading, Rosemary goes down to the kitchen and more often than not returns with a chocolate bar. Rosemary loves chocolate. She has a preference for the Mexican variety. A few weeks ago she and Hilary and the granddaughters went to Washington State shopping for shoes and Rosemary scored a box of Chocolate Carlos V. It used to be made by the very company Richardson Merrill which sometime in the 70s had bought out the Vick Chemical Company. Richardson Merrill made exquisite chocolates and Vick's Vaporub. That situation changed as most of the chocolate companies in Mexico were consolidated and are now owned by Nestlé. But Mexican chocolate still manages to retain that hint of cinnamon that makes it so Mexican.
So when Ms. Hernandez showed up at my studio yesterday with a molinillo I did the obvious. A molinillo is made of wood and is usually carved out of one piece of wood. It has rings which are carved out from the centre and they can twirl when you twirl the molinillo. Mexicans twirl the molinillo when they are making hot chocolate and it froths up very nicely. Served hot at merienda (the Mexican and Spanish equivalent of tea time) it is especially good with churros (batter fried and then sprinkled with sugar). It is bad manners not to dunk the churros into the chocolate. The word for dunking (which comes from soup in Spanish) is sopear.
So here is Ms Hernandez as the ultimate hot chocolate maker. One of the best Mexican brands is Chocolate La Abuelita (The Little Grandmother). Ms Hernandez is the young lady the little grandmother once was. Or at least how I imagine her in my frothy nostalgia for Mexican chocolate.