Will You Try This 1100-Year-Old Hot Chocolate Recipe?

This hot chocolate recipe can be traced back almost 5000 years ago when ancient American civilizations of Olmecs, Mayans, and Aztecs started domesticating the Theobroma (cocoa) tree. 

To be exact, present-day Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Colombia are exactly where they first started growing cocoa trees. 

Not only did they start cultivating these trees but also made cocoa an important part of their daily lives, and religious ceremonies and even used it for trading. 

Cocoa was considered to be the ‘gift of gods’ and the fruit was even offered to the Mayan god of trade and merchants- Ek Chuah as part of their religious traditions. Whereas, the Aztecs believed cocoa was brought from paradise to Earth by their god- Quetzalcoatl. 

What Is Mayan Hot Chocolate? 

Not surprisingly the first ones to start cooking with cocoa beans were also these Mesoamerican civilizations. 

They were the inventors of the world’s first chocolate beverage that was made using ground cocoa seed paste which was mixed with water, cornmeal, and chile peppers. To make it frothy, the drink was poured back and forth from a cup to a pot till a thick foam appeared. 

Yes, this doesn’t sound like the modern-day extra sweet and creamy hot chocolate laden with marshmallows but it is still worth giving a try yeah? 

How To Make Mayan Hot Chocolate At Home?

As an ode to the people who bestowed us with the gift of chocolate, here’s a super easy recipe from Pascati to make this traditional chocolate beverage/hot chocolate at home: 

Ingredients you’ll need 

  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs or high-quality cocoa powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Honey or agave syrup to taste (optional)
  • Instructions 

  • Roast the cacao nibs in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5-7 minutes until fragrant. Then grind them into a powder using a grinder.
  • In a saucepan, heat 2 cups of water until simmering, and then gradually whisk in the ground cacao nibs or cocoa powder, along with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Sprinkle in a pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper.
  • Add honey or agave syrup to taste for sweetness.
  • Let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes and serve. 

    That’s it, folks! 

    Do give it a try and see you soon for another history lesson on chocolate.



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