Unlocking Flavours: The Ancient Art of Chocolate Making with Metate y Mano

Let's embark on a journey back in time, exploring the traditional tool known as "metate y mano" – a key player in the art of grinding ingredients, especially for crafting the perfect chocolate.

Picture this: millennia ago, in the heart of Mexican cooking, corn was crushed on a rock slab, the metate. This process gave birth to the dough for tortillas and paved the way for grinding various ingredients like rehydrated chilies, nuts, seeds, and even cocoa beans for chocolate.

Fast forward to today, and sadly, metates are a rare sight in our kitchens.

Hand corn grinders and electric blenders have taken their place, bringing convenience but perhaps missing the charm of the ancient culinary techniques.

Grinding Goodness

To use this unique tool, start by seasoning it. Submerge the metate and mano in water, scrub away, and air dry. Then, grind uncooked rice to dislodge any sand or stone particles. If you're into spice grinding, a mixture of garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper can add an aromatic touch.

Crafting Cocoa

Now, let's look at crafting your own Mexican cocoa drinks. Grab your metate y mano and follow these steps:

1. Warm the Metate: Preheat your oven and warm your tools while roasting cocoa beans.

2. Roast and Prepare the Beans: Slowly roast the beans to bring out that rich flavour. 

Peel off the skins, and grind using the metate. 

Mix the ground beans with sugar and cinnamon and blend.

The result? A blend that could be crumbly or held together, both perfectly acceptable.

Chocolate Disks:

If you're working with a mortar or metate, grind the mixture by hand until it glistens and forms round cakes. 

Dry them thoroughly, wrap them in foil, and voilà – chocolate disks ready to enchant your taste buds.

Traditional Hot Chocolate

Finally, the payoff! Mix your homemade chocolate with warm milk, froth it up, and indulge in a cup of basic hot chocolate. Feel free to experiment with other hot drinks like Atole and Cham

purrado, each offering a unique twist to your chocolate journey.

Happy chocolate crafting! 🍫

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