Some live by chocolate, yet some can live without ever eating it after trying it the first time. Despite a vast divide in the popular opinion of whether to eat chocolate or not, one thing is sure--the widespread delicacy has been a part of many cultures for thousands of years.
The origins of chocolate date back to Mesoamerica, which is now known as Mexico. Cocoa plants, responsible for the beans that we turn into chocolate, thrive in the environments in which the Mayans and Olmecs once occupied.
The often sickly sweet confection was not enjoyed initially as it is today--ground down with sugar to cut through the cocoa's natural bitterness. Instead, it is believed that the Olmecs, the earliest known Mesopotamian civilization, used chocolate in a bitter ceremonial drink. The Mayans were the pioneers that first married rich chocolate with spice, as confirmed by written history. The warm drink was often sweetened with honey.
Translated to our modern society, the most similar dish to what the Mayans once enjoyed is what we call 'Mexican Chocolate.' If you have ever shopped in a specialty or organic grocery store, you have likely passed by the display of the round chocolate spheres peppered with spices.
Depending on the maker, Mexican chocolate is created by grinding together sugar, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, and other spices. It can be purchased in powder form, syrup, and the most used variation--a bar.
Traditional uses include mole sauce or chocolate sauce paired with churros. As a modern twist, many restaurateurs and pastry chefs have explored imparting Mexican chocolate into a time-tested recipe, such as hot chocolate.
Here at Savannah Bee, we love being on the cutting edge and creating better products for our customers to explore. Although any one of our jars of honey is ideal for sweetening a mug of warm tea or pouring over a hot biscuit, we love the idea of taking a cue from ancient civilizations and brilliant chefs to explore new use for our honey.
So while you may like a traditional frothy hot chocolate, we dare you to take your drink a bit further with a bit of Mexican chocolate and the best honey around--Savannah Bee's Hot Honey. Stay tuned for our recipe for Hot Honey Sweetened Mexican Hot Chocolate.