[Sca-cooks] Sweet chocolate, Modican chocolate (OOP -- maybe)
christianetrue at earthlink.net
Sun Aug 26 12:27:37 PDT 2007
While I was in Sicily last year, I had bought Modican chocolate, which the natives of Modica claim has been made in that city at least from the 1600s. Modica was founded in the late 1500s by the Aragonese royalty, and was a rich city. Modicans claim the basic recipe came from the Aztec. The chocolate is made by crushing the cacao beans on a heated volcanic stone, and the paste is mixed with sugar, poured into slabs, and then cooled. What results is a very gritty-textured chocolate, with the sugar lending a crystalline quality.
Fast forward to now, when I am in my local supermarket. Lots of Mexicans and Colombians have moved into my area, and the store shelves feature lots of products and produce from these cultures. In the baking aisle, I found large slabs of what the packaging called "sweet chocolate." I bought a bar of the Sol brand and took it home.
Well, it's essentially Modican chocolate. It's great in coffee (put in a finger's worth, pour in the coffee and stir, and add some milk or cream). It makes kickass hot chocolate. I am trying some in a cannoli filling or other sweetened ricotta dessert (just break it into little bits and throw it in). Best of all, it's only $2.19 per very large bar (unlike a small bar of Modican chocolate, which will set you back at least 2 euros).
For SCA cooks, if you absolutely positively have to satisfy a royal whim for chocolate and are cooking a late-period Italian or Spanish feast, make some hot chocolate with Sol or serve them very small pieces of "Spanish" chocolate. The Spanish royals were drinking hot chocolate just within period. Make sure the packaging says "sweet chocolate" though. The unsweetened version is essentially baking chocolate.
Here's a nice little article about Modican chocolate:
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