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Champurrado

Champurrado

Champurrado

In Central America, top producers create a specialty of the dish, adding it to their repertoire. Then, during a public event, the top producer makes a few batches of the specialty, which is given free of charge to the crowd gathered for the event.

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In the sixteenth century, Spain invaded the Americas numerous times and brought back many items to Spain, one of those items being chocolate. The chocolate was drunk pure and heated. This was a luxury and something only aristocrats could afford as only the very rich could afford prized cocoa beans. Over time, the drink was changed. Early Spanish colonists adapted a beverage created in ancient Aztec times composed of water and masa harina. They changed it by adding sugar, milk, and chocolate.

The difference between traditional hot chocolate and champurrado is the use of masa harina (corn flour). Atole is made by toasting masa on a griddle, then adding water that has been boiled with cinnamon sticks. The resulting blends vary in texture, ranging from a porridge to a very thin, liquid consistency. In northern Mexico, a variation is also made using pinole (sweetened toasted corn meal). Although atole is one of the traditional drinks of the Mexican holidays Day of the Dead and Las Posadas, it is very common during breakfast and dinner time at any time of year. It is usually sold as street food but can be found in various Latin restaurants. The inclusion of chocolate to the atole gives birth to champurrado. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

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Since sugarcane (originally from Southeast Asia) came to the Americas sometime after Europeans did, chocolate was said to have an acquired taste as it comes off as bitter without added sweetener. The Spaniards created a drink consisting of chocolate, vanilla, and other spices which was served chilled. This drink cannot be compared to modern-day hot chocolate as it was very spicy and bitter, contrasting with the modern notion of very sweet, warm chocolate.

To create this drink in a traditional way, a kitchen utensil existing since prehistoric times called metate is used, – “a piece of porous volcanic rock on three legs tilted for use as grinding surface. The grinding is done by passing back and forth over this surface with an oblong piece of the same material. Throughout history this process was never done by a man. Women kneeled down grinding the corn using the oblong tool and the weight of her body. Grinding the kernels is a slow and tiresome process but comes the masa needed to producing atole and champurrado.” (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

 

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