I was cleaning out our cupboard recently — as I usually do every spring or after an especially tense episode of Hoarders — and came across not one package of hot chocolate but four different types. Each with their own story of how it was acquired and each with it’s specific purpose.
Swiss Miss for instance was a bargain deal at our Albertsons grocery store — a mere 500 steps away from our front door. On sale late last year for 10 for $10 (or 1 for $1). Paul thought it was a great deal and immediately stocked up on a few boxes. He’s been slowly working his way through and we are down to one lonely envelope. I attribute this to the cold nights and amount of rain we’ve been having in San Diego.
The Trader Joe’s fancy Sipping Chocolate had a specific purpose: to recreate Starbucks’ Signature Hot Chocolate. There are no artificial colors or flavors in this fancy container. Just cocoa powder, cane sugar, chocolate liquor and cocoa butter. Once heated up with a little milk, topped with whip cream, drizzled with caramel and a little shake of salt, the hot chocolate is comparable to the one served at Starbucks.
I have yet to open Chocolate Ibarra. It was a parting gift from a tamale-making party thrown by my friend Ani. She said the Mexican families either fell into the Abuelita or the Ibarra side of hot chocolate. Obviously her family was the Ibarra. The purpose of the chocolate was to use it to make mole. I have never made mole and after eating Ani’s version, it intimidates and frightens me. I’m just waiting for her how to teach me to make her version.
Last but not least, The Original Antonio Pueo chocolate. It’s hot Spanish chocolate in puck form! My paternal grandmother used to make it for us for breakfast to eat along with her eggs. Her eggs that were brown and overcooked but the hot chocolate was always good. My grandmother is long gone but this hot chocolate reminds me of her.