The U.S. is yet a young country and experiencing problems with the illegal immigration of Mexicans. At the same time, Americans do love many aspects of the Mexican culture – mariachi music, tequila, distinctive art, designer silver – and very especially Mexican food. And, it seems, like Italian food, the longer we learn, the more uniquely sophisticated it gets!
In the ancient Mayan Mesoamarican tradition of marrying chocolate with corn, let’s learn about Champurrado, a hot chocolate drink with all of Mexico’s chocolate options. What’s more, it’s made with lime-treated corn flour which thickens it! Flavoring can be any of the following: clove, almond, cinnamon, anise seed, vanilla bean, ground nuts, chili, orange zest, even eggs!
Ideally, you would use Mexican chocolate and sweeten your Champurrado with piloncillo, an ancient unrefined Mexican sugar. It is less sweet and imparts a smoky, earthy caramel flavor! You would also whip your mixture into a froth with a wooden whisk called a molinillo (see picture). Champurrado is a chocolate-based atole, a warm and thick Mexican drink. Atoles can be flavored with fruit or berries instead of chocolate.
The Mexican people enjoy Champurrado with celebratory Christmas tamales, as a good breakfast drink and an excellent before-bed beverage.