Molinillos are wooden whisks created for the single purpose of mixing and creating froth in cacao drinks. After you have roasted, cracked, and separated the nibs from the husks, you place the cacao on the rock and begin to grind it. Example: Dick Taylor, Single Origin Drinking Chocolate Ecuador. Also, they did not use the metate, or stone tool, that was widely used in Mesoamerica. Example: Lake Champlain Aztec Hot Chocolate or Nomadic Drinking Chocolate. Generally, when you make cacao-based drinks and add milk, sugar, cinnamon, etc.,  the quality of the cacao gets masked. You have the option to buy unfermented cacao, otherwise known as washed cacao, or fermented cacao. So I remain loyal to just calling it chocolate in Spanish or unrefined chocolate in English. Don't worry about the milk, as the real old Mexican way doesn't include milk products but as an option. I can take ground cacao and sugar and transform that into a smooth chocolate bar, but I cannot take a smooth chocolate bar and transform that back into unrefined chocolate. If it does not indicate a source of cacao, a state or country,  you can assume it is from Africa, which is true for any eating or drinking chocolate in the world. Everyday recipe for Mexican hot chocolate. Mexico imports a lot of cacao beans from Africa and recently from Ecuador. The foam carries oxygen into the body. You have to actually like these alternative milks because the flavor and texture will come through. Chocolate as a candy exists there, of course, but commercial Mexican chocolate candy-making is just now reaching the sophistication or heights of quality of the world's premier chocolatiers, mainly because the products cover different cultural needs. In Mexico it also pairs well with tamales and in Colombia they add a piece of soft cheese. The two big commercial brands of Mexican table chocolate that are available in the US are Ibarra and Nestle's Abuelita, and these are commonly found in large supermarkets and in neighborhood Mexican and Hispanic grocery stores. Dissolve dark baking chocolate in boiling water, add some tea-making herbs or SWEET spices (We Mexicans don't consider hot pepper a sweet spice), then drink in teacups. Generally has the most ingredients and is highly processed. In Oaxaca you can see many of these molino stores. Most people in Mexican cities and the USA make the drink with whole milk or water. The main characteristic of an unrefined chocolate or cacao drink is that it has very little processing and the flavor remains very strong. This mixture, in a liquid or semi-liquid state, is poured into molds and cooled; the solid pieces (in bar or chunk form) are then packaged and sold. The largest consumers of cacao drinks are from Mexico, Central America, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and the Philippines. Many women still use this to prepare daily meals. The companies originally started with a high quality product but have plummeted in quality over the years. They cut the cacao fruit, remove the seeds, put them in a wooden box or pile to ferment for 4-8 days. Even if you purchase the Mexican chocolate in Mexico from Mexicans, you might not know if the cacao is Mexican. Hot Chocolate or Hot Cocoa: Has origins in America or the United Kingdom, uses cocoa powder instead of cacao or chocolate. You can purchase two types of cacao: fermented or unfermented. This is a recent style invented by many romantic American and European chocolatiers. In Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Peru they are made entirely from wood and in Colombia it is a combination of wood and metal. Soon after the Spanish colonized Mexico, and learned to make chocolate drinks, they colonized the Philippines and brought the cacao drinking culture there. Since the product has gained popularity in English speaking countries, you can find an already processed, solid mix called either Mexican hot chocolate or drinking chocolate. How to melt and reshape Mexican Hot Chocolate disks, Tempering & Molding | bean-to-bar chocolate, Tamarind sweet syrup for Shaved Ice | Raspados, Tortilla Hot Chocolate: vegan & sugar free, Dick Taylor, Single Origin Drinking Chocolate Ecuador, how to make Mexican hot chocolate from scratch, Boil milk or water with cinnamon powder or stick, Remove from heat and add the chocolate and sugar. This is where the confusion begins. I was lucky enough to inherit my mother’s metate, given to her in 1957 and my grandmother’s metate, given to her in 1930. Popular brands of mixes for cacao drinks are Abuelita and Ibarra. Spanish Chocolate: Ground cacao, cocoa powder, or chocolate usually thickened with rice, flour, cornstarch, or wheat. From here you choose peeled cacao (without the husk) or with the husk. Remember, this used to be done by hands, no machines. The Aztecs and Mayans enjoyed hot chocolate for thousands of years before it was discovered by the Old World. In many modern recipes in English-speaking countries, the term "Mexican chocolate" is used to indicate that spices—most often cinnamon and vanilla—are included in the dish's flavor profile. Even Hernán Cortés wrote to King Carlos I of Spain telling him that he had found a “drink that builds up resistance and fights fatigue.” Okay, I know we said we were showcasing Mexican drinks that aren’t … The important design component is that the bottom should be wide enough to allow you to whisk and that it be tall enough to avoid spilling. Example: Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate. They just call it chocolate. It's widely used to make a water- or milk-based hot beverage that is common alongside doughy bakery products on breakfast tables, during cold afternoons, and at Christmas celebrations. What is Mezcal and why is it better than Tequila? The term "Mexican chocolate" is often misunderstood, misinterpreted and misused. You can get fermented cacao at or But the washed cacao is also valued for being “clean.”. Fermentation is one key step to developing complex chocolatey flavors in high quality chocolate. Mexican Drinking Chocolate: Velvety, rich, decadent, spicy drinking chocolate. Origin Drinking Chocolates: The most recent chocolate movement called craft or bean-to-bar, has created a new style of drinking chocolates – origin drinking chocolates. The more warm your metate, the easier the cacao will grind. Actually, this style of unrefined chocolate is still largely hand-processed. These pieces are later broken up and added to milk or water to make a comforting beverage, or a lump is included as one ingredient (of many) in traditional concoctions. Hot peppers and chocolate—two ingredients given to the world by Mexico—have been used together in that country for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. But it is highly consumed around religious holidays like Christmas, Three Kings Day, and the Day of the Dead. They will completely customize your chocolate mix for you. They are owned by large companies and contain more sugar than cacao, added vegetable oil, artificial flavors, cocoa powder, or soy lecithin. Unrefined chocolate sold in Oaxaca, Mexico with coffee, almonds, or sugar. The world’s finest chocolate bars are made with fermented cacao. They had no way of processing the cacao bean into a paste. I have a post dedicated to showing you how to make Mexican hot chocolate from scratch. Food writer who lived in Mexico City for 20 years, learning key flavors and techniques to create Mexican food recipes. In Mexico it is usually orange clay or painted green, and in Colombia they have a famous design made from aluminum. Luxurious. Drinking chocolate has a history of over 4,000 years, while chocolate bars, or eating chocolate, has only about 200 years!