Sicilian Chocolate

Modica, a town in Sicily, has it’s own style of chocolate, “Cioccolata Modicana”, which is hand refined and mixed in stone bowls. I found a bar of Casa Don Puglisi Classica at Chocolate Covered on 24th Street in San Francisco. It looks like this bar is also available at Whole Foods on occasion. The chocolate has a very rough texture, with visible sugar crystals and a rough feel on the tongue. It’s a style unique to that area, and almost feels like unfinished chocolate. It has some really intense nutty and almost liquor flavors, which is not unexpected due to it’s lack of conching. It’s an unusual eating chocolate (a friend, eating a square, looked woozy, like he’d been hit with a chocolate club), but is quite delightful when used to make chocolate the old school way: as a hot drink. A square of the chocolate dissolved in hot milk, and foamed with the Ikea Produckt foamer, and you have, as the Don Puglisi label says, “una bevanda indimenticabile.”

The Aztecs prized the foam of hot chocolate above all other methods of eating chocolate, and achieved a head of foam on chocolate drinks by pouring chocolate from one cup to another. According to Coe’s True History of Chocolate, the Aztecs had a term specifically for chocolate roasted so as to produce a good foam. The Ikea Produkt Milk Frother is the best $1.99 you’ll spend on kitchen equipment. It makes a great foam on coffee or hot chocolate.

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