Where does chocolate come from?

L's Hot Cocoa
 As part of our plant study, I thought it would be fun to learn about chocolate.  I found some great videos to watch with the kids about food production and specifically how chocolate is made.   We talked about Growers, Processors, Packaging, and Distributors - and made a little picture about each.  L enjoyed acting out the "distributors" picture, in which we go to the store to buy chocolate. 

I was surprised to learn that the Spanish, who were the first to sweeten chocolate, loved it so much that they kept it a secret for 100 years!  So we decided to make their special chocolate drink. We used the recipe on the side of the cocoa box, you can find it on the hershey's website.  My favorite part was seeing L taste the cocoa powder (bitter!) then the sugar (sweet!) and then taste how they combined into hot cocoa.

Of course, as a chocolate lover, this was exciting for me, too - so later, sans children, I made a version of Aztec Hot Chocolate.  I based my recipe on this one, but I started with cocoa powder and made a few other adjustments.  Here's my recipe:
Simmer 2 cups water with 1 cinnamon stick and 1 tsp of chili paste for 2 minutes.  Then add 1 TBSP cocoa and 1TBSP sugar, stirring until dissolved.  Finally, add 1/2 tsp vanilla extra, and remove from heat.  The result is a spicy hot drink, not sweet. 


rilojane said...

It must be in the air... I woke up this morning not caring about breakfast, I just wanted some hot chocolate!!
I'm excited to try your Aztec recipe. The few times I've tried to make something similar, I've had no guidelines, so it just didn't turn out ~right~. Having a recipe or two (and not being lazy...) I'm excited to try again.

Unknown said...

That sounds really yummy. My favorite is Spanish recipe from the 1600's. It involves rose hips lavender and chili!

I love reading your blog as I have two little girls who will be home schooled one day. I find it really inspirational.

Robin Lynn said...

One of our favorite winter drinks was the homemade hot chocolate from 'real' cocoa powder. And some of our best homeschool memories were activities in the kitchen - the heart of our home!