November 05, 2004

Aztec Gold One of Mexico's gifts to the world is chocolate. Today Mexican chocolate is made from dark, bitter chocolate mixed with sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes nuts. The end result of cooking with this type of chocolate is a "grainy" less smooth product. The Aztec people made a wide range of drinks from chocolate combining it with honey, nuts, seeds, and spices. Chocolate was so valued it was used by the Aztecs as both a food and currency. During the Day of the Dead festival many a soul of the living is warmed during the long nights in the cemetery with a cup of chocolate. There are many variations to the drinking of chocolate in Mexico. Atole (ah-toh-lay) is a warm, thick drink made dense with masa or more commonly today cornmeal. It is usually served with tamales. The chocolate-flavored version of this drink is called champurrado. This drink is a bit like hot chocolate but thickened with masa and flavored with piloncillo and aniseeds. The consistency of this pre-Hispanic beverage is similar to porridge. It is also served as a dessert with churros or with pan de muertos. The drinks are whipped together using a wooden whisk called a molinillo (moh-lin-nyee-oh) although a blender will do. Agua de chocolateis Mexican hot chocolate that is made by frothing together warmed milk or water with a disk of cinnamon-laced chocolate. Tejate is a pre-Hispanic Oaxacan specialty. Said to have been drunk by Zapotec kings it is refreshing, invigorating, aphrodisiacal, and medicinal; it is...
SHF #2- Cider House Rules The challenge for me with today’s Sugar High Friday was not to bake an apple pie. I worried that I would distinguish myself from the crowd. So I took another route with apples and sugar with Apple Cider Pound Cake. A great fall interpretation of a kitchen classic. Thanks for hosting Domestic Goddess! Real cider, the dark fragrant kind—not the pale you-can-see-through-to-the-bottom-of-the-glass kind is fall personified. I found it curious recently when I read a research statistic from, The NPD Group Inc, that stated that only 1.5 of Americans drink apple cider. Some of my most vivid food memories growing up in New England are centered around crisp afternoons driving to apple orchards and of pressing fresh cider at Drumlin Farms. For the most part, apple “juice” is clear, amber-colored, filtered and pasteurized –it is found on the supermarket shelf. It does not need to be refrigerated before opening. Apple cider is the cloudy, caramel-colored, and unfiltered pressed juice of apples. Also, all apple juice sold today as cider isn't necessarily "fresh" cider. Most juice sold in supermarkets is pasteurized, or heat-treated to destroy bacteria. Untreated juice is required to have a label saying so. Countries producing cider fall into the temperate regions of the world. By the beginning of the ninth century, cider drinking was well established in Europe. Normandy, Brittany, Wiesbaden, the Basque region of Spain, Ireland and Britain introduced the craft of producing cider to America, Canada, Australia to name a few. Early English settlers who brought...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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