In the land of Chocolate

I’m living in a country famous for its chocolate. The Aztecs introduced the Spanish conquistadors to chocolate. The word is Nahuatl in origin: xocolatl. There are factories in town that make chocolate tablets for hot chocolate. There are wooden instruments made just for stirring, or frothing, your hot chocolate.

So, where do they hide the baking chocolate?

I cannot find it. I can only find coco from Hershey’s and chocolate chips from Hershey’s (mmm, waxy). I have yet to find the dutched coco, which is my preferred kind of coco. In fact, I haven’t found any coco that is not Hershey’s.

I live in the second largest city in Mexico; I know it’s out there somewhere. I haven’t given up yet.

However, desperate for brownies, I used the hot chocolate tablets. First, I consulted my mother and my Joy of Cooking and figured out that I should not add very much extra sugar to my brownies, because the tablet was going to have quite a lot of sugar in it already.

They turned out pretty good. I think, if I make them again by this method, I might just leave out any extra sugar. But, I’m still on the lookout for the real baking chocolate.

I think I found a hunk of chocolate that I can chip up for cookies. The woman who sold it to me thought I could bake with it, but it has quite a lot of sugar and it not the “unsweetened baking chocolate” I seek. She gave me a taste, and it was good and she said it was made in Mexico. This is a good start.

I’m still on the lookout for several things: baking chocolate, almond extract, and turmeric are high on my list.

Surprisingly, I’ve been able to find: tofu (fresh!), hoisin sauce, and fresh ginger.

And, of course, there are many things wish are both plentiful and fantastically good: cheeses (panela, cotija, something I like to call ‘ricotta’ – the woman that sells it to me calls it something else), chiles (I’m starting a collection! Fresh, dried, powdered, they’re all good.), and tortillas (mmmm…).

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5 Responses to “In the land of Chocolate”

  1. Leah Says:

    Hey, I’m currently eating a C&R tortilla and feeling quite jealous. Maybe I’ll go and cook with some Ghirradelli Chocolate and feel better.

  2. deeb Says:

    The bonus for the brownies is that after reading this entry, Adolfo said “You used the Ibarra chocolate in the brownies! I had no idea.”

    I think that, and the fact that they are almost gone (made on Friday), means they are a success.

  3. barbara Says:

    I don’t know if it will help, but I searched for a translation for tumeric and came up with cúrcuma. That’s the name of the plant the tumeric comes from Maybe it’s under that name.

  4. deeb Says:

    You are right! The frustrating story about the turmeric, is that when we went to the BIG market for more granola supplies, I saw a jar labeled cúrcuma and I asked Adolfo and the woman helping me what it was. Neither could tell me. So, I left without it. That should teach me that I need to make sure to have the translations handy before leaving for the market. So, now I’ve learned a new word. But, I still have no turmeric. At least I know where to find it.

  5. Paul Parkinson Says:

    If you come up with some “authentic” mexican recipies, let us know the good ones and those for which we can get ingredients here in Missouri (I’m willing to go to Columbia). My mouth is watering

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