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Hot Cocoa, Two Ways


Though prepared differently all over the world, most cultures seem to understand the appeal of a steaming cup of cocoa. France adds vanilla, Austria adds egg yolk, some throw coffee in there, others top with whipped cream. For these two recipes, we looked to regions where cacao has been grown for centuries to see how it’s done. One of them hews pretty closely to the first hot chocolate in recorded history, while the other contains—to our absolute delight—a cheesy surprise hidden in the mug.

Colombian Style a.k.a. Chocolate Santafereño
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups whole milk
  2. 5 ounces chopped sweetened chocolate
  3. 2 tablespoons panela or granulated sugar
  4. ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 4 ounces cubed fresh white cheese
Instructions
  1. ►Warm 4 cups whole milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. ►Once hot, add 5 ounces chopped sweetened chocolate (to fully commit, seek out a Colombian chocolate like Luker), 2 tablespoons panela or granulated sugar, and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
  3. ►Cook, stirring until the chocolate melts completely.
  4. ►Meanwhile, distribute 4 ounces cubed fresh white cheese, like queso blanco or halloumi, into four mugs.
  5. ►Just before hot chocolate mixture boils, use a whisk or wooden molinillo to froth it, then pour into prepared mugs.
  6. ►Serve with spoons or pieces of toast for scooping up the cheese.
culture: the word on cheese https://culturecheesemag.com/
Mayan Style a.k.a. Champurrado or chocolate atole
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup masa harina corn flour
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 2 cups whole milk
  4. 3 ounces piloncillo or brown sugar
  5. 2 3-ounce discs of Mexican chocolate
  6. 2 cinnamon sticks
  7. ¼ teaspoon cayenne
Instructions
  1. ►In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together ½ cup masa harina corn flour and 2 cups water.
  2. ►Bring to a boil, then add 2 cups whole milk, 3 ounces piloncillo or brown sugar, 2 3-ounce discs of Mexican chocolate, 2 cinnamon sticks, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne.
  3. ►Return to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook 5 to 7 more minutes, until piloncillo dissolves and mixture thickens.
  4. ►Remove from heat, discard cinnamon sticks, then pour into mugs.
culture: the word on cheese https://culturecheesemag.com/

Linni Kral

Linni Kral is a writer, editor, activist, and friend living in Brooklyn, with past lives in Boston, L.A., and Chicago. Her writing has been featured in the Atlantic & Atlas Obscura, among others. She’s happiest in the company of cows, books, and groceries.

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