Drinking chocolate: New varieties in arty tin
„Hot & Spicy Chocolate“ accompanies „Hot Chocolate“
22 February 2019
It enjoyed cult status some 2.500 years ago: liquid chocolate – the Aztecs revered it as a gift from the god Quetzalcoatl. Although its current interpretation has a less archaic role to play in society, it still possesses a certain charm. VIVANI has now captured this charm in a special, artist-designed tin – and it will be on sale in organic food stores from March.
Like bars of chocolate, drinking chocolates are true classics. This is largely to do with the origins of cocoa and chocolate – more on that later. It is why we have been offering our customers the liquid chocolate alternative “Hot Chocolate” since 2008. It can be enjoyed both as a delicious chocolate drink – ideally melted in hot, steamed milk – and as a baking ingredient for garnishing cakes and desserts. Our pure drinking chocolate is a real delicacy in the truest sense of the word: it is made exclusively from finely grated dark chocolate. After focusing on our complete range of chocolate bars, the time came to turn our attention to the look of our drinking chocolate. And, as two is always better than one, our drinking chocolate didn’t just get a new design; it got a new variety too.
The new VIVANI „Hot & Spicy Chocolate“
A Divine Drink, Version 2.0 – just as the Aztecs would have spiced it, had they been familiar with cinnamon. VIVANI’s answer to the original “xocolatl” is a modern interpretation that comes in the form of “Hot & Spicy Chocolate”. Just as with the classic “Hot Chocolate”, this is a grated dark chocolate, although this chocolate is a darker version with 72% cocoa. The chocolate is sweetened solely with organic coconut blossom sugar – the rare sugar alternative with a fine, malty taste. We then add fine spices in the form of cinnamon and chilli oil. Cinnamon? The ears of all chocolate history buffs are now pricking up. It is true, the Aztecs were not aware of cinnamon. So, what did the legendary “xocolatl” actually contain?
Excursus: „xocolatl“ – The oldest form of chocolate
Advanced civilisations in South and Central America like the Olmecs, Aztecs, Toltecs and Maya were familiar with the cocoa tree and how to use its fruit thousands of years before chocolate arrived on Europe’s shores. According to a recent study, the cocoa tree was actually cultivated an amazing 5,300 years ago by the Mayo-Chinchipe culture in Ecuador. However, their enjoyment of the fruit has little in common with the chocolate we consume today. The Aztecs, for example, used to prepare the famous drink “xocolatl” by combining the raw, ground cocoa beans with water, chilli and vanilla. It was believed to be a tonic that improved health and worked as an aphrodisiac. The extremely bitter drink, which didn’t contain sugar, was reserved for important men like aristocrats and priests and was drunk as part of rituals, such as to honour the cocoa god Ek Chuah. The name “xocolatl” comes from the Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl. Legend has it that he brought the seeds of the cocoa tree to humans.
Cocoa was only introduced to Europe after the discovery of America. Spanish explorer Hernan Cortez introduced cocoa beans to the Spanish court in the 16th century. But hot chocolate was only enjoyed by Europeans when combined with sugar or honey. Following its discovery, the exclusive cult drink spread rapidly among European nobility. But it took until well into the 19th century for the solid form of cocoa – chocolate – to be invented and perfected. Enjoyment of the sweet delicacy then gradually spread to the common people.