Thursday, January 08, 2009

Abuelita, My Favorite Granny


Until I moved to California, where there are a lot of Mexican foods available in the grocery stores, I had never heard of "Abuelita" brand chocolate. And even still, I saw it but didn't know what it was, other than knowing that the word "abuelita" means "granny." I ran across a number of mole recipes that called for Abuelita and still, I didn't go through the effort of finding some and trying it--until last week. I Googled "Mexican grocery store" in my neighborhood, and schlepped over there to get some Abuelita's. The proprietor of the store, an adorable mother-figure, kept calling me "mi hija," or "my daughter," which I found to be delightful (me? her daughter? She was probably only 10 years older than me).

So I bought two packs of Abuelita's and used some for the first time in my chicken mole for the dinner party. Truly, it was a revelation. What suprised me was that it made the mole sweet. Not too sweet, mind you, but pleasantly sweet. And the flavor was gloriously complex.

Just yesterday, I tried Abuelita's for the first time in hot chocolate. Instead of being in powder form, Abuelita's comes in chunks of solid chocolate. The chocolate is premixed with just the right amount of sugar (not too sweet, like most American hot chocolate) and cinnamon. You drop a chunk in your milk, microwave it, and then froth it with a cappuccino machine (or a special milk frothing device, which I don't have). You get the most fabulous hot chocolate on this Earth, with no exaggeration.

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