Chocolate

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I have a friend who is an Amuzgo indian and speak the Amuzgo dialect. She speaks spanish too (thankfully). She is very dear to me and my family. She is from the south of Mexico, from the State of Guerrero.

Every time she goes and visit her family, she brings us something. Once she brought lemon grass which I planted in my garden. Other time she brought a kind of green beans that are very big (gigantic), I also planted them in my garden. Last time she visited her family she brought us homemade chocolate. I mean real homemade chocolate made from scratch, from picking up the cacao from the cacao tree! At the ranch, her family have several different plants and trees. Among them Cacao and sugar cane.

I’m sorry I don’t have a recipe for you this time. but how she explained to me how her family made the chocolate, was so surprising that I just couldn’t ignore it, I had to share her rustic, natural way to make such delicious chocolate.

She said they pick up the cacao, peel it and let the cacao bean dry out on the sun. Then, they toast it on a comal, an iron cast skillet

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Then they grind the cacao bean on a metate. A metate is a utensil that the indians used to use to grind grains. It consist in a flat surface volcanic stone with a stone stick complement, kind of roller. So what ever you want to grind you put it over the flat stone and you roll the stick stone over until you grind it.

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Once the cacao bean is ground they added piloncillo (the most unrefined form of cane sugar) which her family also made from scratch. She said they put several sugar canes together tied with a rope. The rope is attached to a horse, and the horse go around and around the sugar canes so it squeezes the syrup out of the canes into a bowl. Then they cook the syrup until it becomes the piloncillo.

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They add fresh cinnamon and form this balls.

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They cover this balls with a fresh lemon leaf until the leaf dries.

Chocolate is very precious to indians, the have it mostly in memorable occasions, on weddings or when the children finish school. They also give it as a very special gift along with a basket of freshly baked bread. They use to make atole (a mexican hot thick beverage), hot chocolate or add it to a mixture of chiles to make mole.

So how about that!! I find it so amazing that in this world full of technology, computers and machines, there is still people who live such a simple, rustic, natural, healthy way. And uses a metate a horse and a rope to make their delicious food.

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