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Old 10-27-2008, 06:40 AM   #1
mccoy
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The origin of chocolate beverage(s)

This is a very interesting recount of how the precolombian civilizations drank chocolate: cool, with many spices: vanilla, chili, flowers...

I'll have to try some'of em out:

Quote:
About drinking chocolate
According to the food historians, the Ancient Aztecs used many substances to flavor their chocolate drink. In fact? Drinking chocolate without adding flavorings, spices and other additions was almost unheard of. One of the most popular additions was powdered chilli (Capsicum annum). Maize was sometimes added as filler. Flowers were popular flavorings. There were were several, including chili! Chocolate was generally consumed cool, not hot like we Americans do today.

"Among the more well-known spices were chenopodium, coriander and sage. Vanilla, extracted from the pods of a species of orchid, was among the most esteemed flavorings. Chocolate was prepared by grinding roasted cacao beans, sometimes with parched corn, and them mixing the powder with vanilla orchid pods or sweetened with honey. Like tea and coffee, this beverage is rich in caffeine and was much prized in ancient Mesoamerica."
---The Aztecs, Townsend (p. 173)

"Universally popular throughout Mesoamerica was the addition to the drink [chocolate] of chilli (Capsicum annum), dried and ground to a powder. The molina vocabular calls the drink chilacacahuatl; of coruse, given the extraoadinary array of chillis grown in Mexico, it could have been anywhere from mildly pungent to extremely hot...Sahagun's native informants gave him a mneu of choclate drinks served to the ruler...'Then by himself in his house, his chocolate was served: green cacao-pods, honeyed chocolate, flowered chocoalte, flavored with green vanilla, bright red chocolate, huitztexcolli-flower chocolate, flower-colored chocolate, black chocoalte, white chocolate"...Fransico Hernandez gives us a chocolate recipe...What is interesting about Hernandez's recipe is that it contains three flavorings which we know were highly prized by the Aztecs. Th first is hueinacaztli, the thick, ear-shaped petal of the flower of Cymbopetalum pendulifolorum, a tree of the Annonaceae or custard-apple family, which grows in the tropical lowland forests of Veracruz, Oazaca, and Chiapas; this was one of the most valued products brought back by the pochtexa merchants from the expeditions. It is a confusing plant, because it has a least three Nahuatl names: it may be calle dhueinacaztli ("great ear"), teonacaztli ("divine ear"), or xochinacaztli ("flowry ear"). The distinguising feature is the ending nacaztli, meaning "ear."...Be that is at may, Cymbopetalum penduliflorum was the premier chocolate flavor among the Aztecs...What did this flower taste like, once it have been turned into powder and added to the fine cacao? Sahagun as usual cautions against taking too much of it, warning that excess could lead to drunkenness...The second of Hernandez's reputedly aphrodesiac trio was tlilxochitl ("black flower"), none other than our familiar vanillla (Vanilla planifolia). In contradcition to his Nahuatl name, the vanilla flower is acutally greenish yellow; the plant is a climbing orchid, and it is the pod that is black...The last in Hernandez's trio of chocolate flavorings is mecaxochitl ("string flower"). This is a member of the genus Piper, probably Piper sanctum, and therefore actually related to black pepper. The flowers, said to be white by some and black by others, are tiny and packed on to an inflorescence. According to Hernandez, "taken with cachuatl [cacao] it gives an agreeable taste, is tonic, warms the stomach, perfumes the breath...combats poisons, [and] alleviates intestinal pains and colics." ...This by no means completes the inventory of Aztec chocolate flavorings. Two varieties of Magnolia mexicana could be added, although drying the flowers causes them to lose their fragrance while at the same time ratining their astringency. The flowers are shaped like a heart, hence the Nahuatl name yolloxochitl ("heart flower")...The "heart flower" tree, like the rest of the Magnolia family and genus, contains alkaloids; if the seeds and flowers of Magnolia mexicana are cooked in water and administered to a patient, they are supposed to augment the pulse and regularize the heartbeat, but an overdose causes arrhythmia...Izquixochitl ("popcorn flower") can be any one of several species of Bourreria in the borage family...Sahagun directs us to use it in chilled chocolate." ---True History of Chocolate, Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe [Thames and Hudson:New York] 1996 (p. 89-92)

How was the chocolate drink made?
"The basic Aztec method of preparing chocolate...was about the same as that prevalent among the Maya; the only real difference is that it seems to have been drunk cool rather than hot as seems to have been the case among the Maya of Yucatan. One of the earliest notices of this drink is by the hand of a man known to scholars as the Anonymous Conqueror, described as "a gentleman of Hernan Cortez," whos description of Tenochtitlan was published in Venice in 1556: These seeds which are called almonds or cacao are ground and made into powder, and other small seeds are ground, and this powder is put into certain basins with a point... and then they put water on it and mix it with a spoon. And after having mixed it very well, they change it from one basin to another, so that a foam is raised which they put in a vessel made for the purpose. And when they wish to drink it, they mix it with certain small spoons of gold or silver or wood, and drink it, and drinking it one must open one's mouth, because being foam one must give it room to subside, and go down bit by bit. This drink is the healthiest thing, and the greatest sustenance of anything you could drink in the world, because he who drinks a cup of this liquid, no matter how far he walks, can go a whole day without eating anything else.' To this encomium the Anonymous Conqueror adds the comment that "it is better in hot weather than in cool, being cold is its nature...According to Sahagun's native informants, fine chocolate was called tlaquetzalli ("precious thing"), and was prepared by the seller in this way: She grinds cacao [beans]; she crushes, breaks, pulverizes them. She chooses, selects, separates them. She drenches, soaks, steeps them. She adds water sparingly, conservativley; aerates it, filters it, strains it, pours it back and forth, aerates it; she makes it form a head, makes foam; she removes the head, makes it thicken, makes it dry, pours water in, stirs water into it.' The inferior product, the informatns tell us, was mixed with nixtuamalli and water--in other words, a chocolate-with-maize gruel drink...There is no mention in these primary sources of the grooved wooden beater or swizzle stick (Spanish molinillo) for the production of the much-prized foam, nor does any word for it appear in the first Nahuatl-Spanish dictionary, that of Alonso de Molina, published in Mexico City in 1571. This item, so important later on in chocolate preparation in America and Europe, must have been introduced from Spain during the 16th century. By the time the Jesuit Francesco Saverio Clavigero published his detailed report on native Mexican live and hsitory (in 1780, in Italian), he describes the use of the molinillo, but totally omits the pouring from one vessel to another to produce a good head on the drink...There is, however, ample mention of stirrers or stirring spoons. These were fashioned from tortoise or sea turtle shell. Some of these survived the Conquest, for among the confiscated goods of two Aztec sorcerers arested by the early Spanish Inquisition were many of these stirrers, along with cacao and the cups from wich chocolate was drunk. Which brings us to the cups themselves. A reading of our sources indicates that these were small, hemispherical bowls which could be of polychrome creamic; calabash gourd...painted or lacquered with designs; and even gold, in the case of the huei tlatoani."
---True History of Chocolate, Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe [Thames & Hudson:London] 1996 (p. 86-88)
[NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be paraphrased here. It also includes notes on the use of chocolate in Mayan civization.]
From:
http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodmaya.html
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:19 PM   #2
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mccoy, reading this article you posted reminds me of the movie " Chocolat " with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche. Very good movie.

In the movie, she had a secret recipe for hot chocolate and it had a dash of chilli powder or cayenne pepper in it - gave it a totally unique taste. I wonder what it tastes like, have to find a recipe or just try a dash and see.

Today would be a great day for hot chocolate and a movie.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:50 PM   #3
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I found these two recipes ~

Hot Spiced Mexican Hot Chocolate with Ice Cream Dusted with Chili Powder
by Michael Chiarello
Ingredients
Serves: 4 Servings
3/4 cup water
1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 heaping tablespoon instant espresso
Pinch salt
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, the best quality possible, grated
2 cups whole milk
Vanilla ice cream
Chili powder
Directions
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and add to the boiling water. Add sugar, cinnamon, espresso, and a pinch of salt. Simmer for 1 minute and add the bittersweet chocolate. Whisk until it gets thick. Add milk and simmer 1 minute. Serve immediately with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkling of chili powder on top.

You may make this ahead and reheat. Make sure to either whisk it or blend it in a blender to make it light and foamy before serving. (The classic Mexican chocolate was whisked with a special wooden tool called a 'molinillo'.)
************************************************** ********************************
Spicy Hot chocolate
Ingredients
6 cups instant hot chocolate powder
3 tablespoons cinnamon
10 ounces herseys cinnamon baking chips
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon clove
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 cups mini marshmallows
Directions
Mix all ingredients together.
Place into 2 large glass jars or pre pack single servings. The 1/2 cup pre serving topped with hot water.
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonlightdancer View Post
mccoy, reading this article you posted reminds me of the movie " Chocolat " with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche. Very good movie.

In the movie, she had a secret recipe for hot chocolate and it had a dash of chilli powder or cayenne pepper in it - gave it a totally unique taste. I wonder what it tastes like, have to find a recipe or just try a dash and see.

Today would be a great day for hot chocolate and a movie.
Moonlight,
are you recovering from your injury?
I saw that film, if I remember well the woman was a choco-witch, as it were, cast her benign spells thru chocolate recipes.

Chocolate and chili has been trendy in Italy since a few years. Both powders for hot chocolate and bars.

I've tried it out with bitter cocoa powder, and honey, but on second thought raw sugar would be best. It's undoubtedly peculiar .
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heenakshi View Post
I need help for dieting. I am getting weight so much and I would like to loose some weight. Actually I want to at least 30 pounds. I am looking for any easy diet or diet pills. I am planning to start crash dieting. Is it ok to loose that much weight? And what is the best diet pill for me? Plz help me out. Any real help would be much appreciated.
Henaakshi,

as far as I know diet pills may be dangerous.

Should be used under strict medical supervision.
If unharmful they may have an unpleasant rebound effect.

Natural diet is better, I wonder why you ask under this chocolate topic, you may dine on a cup of hot chocolate (home-made with honey or raw sugar), and one apple.

Loosing 30 pounds if you are 30 pounds overweight is perfectly all right. Not so much if you are underweight.
May be little if you are 100 pounds over.

There are dietists who can tell you exactly what your suggested weight range is, by electrical instrumentation plus statistical tables.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heenakshi View Post
I need help for dieting. I am getting weight so much and I would like to loose some weight. Actually I want to at least 30 pounds. I am looking for any easy diet or diet pills. I am planning to start crash dieting. Is it ok to loose that much weight? And what is the best diet pill for me? Plz help me out. Any real help would be much appreciated.
There is a lot of guidance from Yoganandaji on what to eat. Inconveniently, it is scattered throughout the teachings.

That said, I would suggest two principles: move slowly and surely; and move in steps towards a sattwic diet.

The first steps towards a sattwic diet for those eating ordinary Western food are to cut out beef and pork, and to eat plenty of raw fruit and veg. If you are not already doing this, making these changes, may I suggest as your main diet goal for the next three or four months?

The reason I suggest "move slowly" is so that the body and brain have time to adjust to the changes. It is widely known that people who go on crash diets end up gaining more weight than before. The body goes into starvation mode, and then binges when food is again avaialble. We humans have been programmed that way over millions of years of evolution. (For a layperson- accessible reference on the science see Martin Seligman (of Chiago): What you can change and what you can't.)

What to change first depends on what you are eating now, and also on your psychology. There's a good hope that if you add more raw salads to your diet
you will lose weight, simply because they taste filling without being fattening. I benefited (a while ago) from regularly eating a Cretan salad. This consists mainly of tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and olives plus a little red or green (bell) pepper and a good dash of garlic (and salt to taste). In Crete they have it with pure Cretan virgin oive oil as a fully satisfying dressing, but if it tastes better to you with French dressing or mayonnaise, go for it - it's the salad not that dressing that will begin to change your diet.

Fresh fruit always helps too. Some nutritionists (the Diamonds for example) say best if you start rather than end your meal with fruit and leave 20 mins before eating anything else.

Another suggestion is conscious eating. Making your meal a mindful event. Eating with awareness of each piece, of gratitude to God as the Giver (of the food, the body, and health). Guruji said he liked to eat in silence. Savour the savoury and feel the sweetness of the sweet. Feel the nourishment of food. Chew very thoroughly, says PY.

Psychology - you might ask yourself this question: what am I protecting myself from with extra weight? (PM me if you want personal dialog on food and mind.) (Possibly there was some hurt...?)

And also - exercise and sunshine! Guruji recommends brisk walking as the best form of exercise, in addition to his Energisation Exercises. And 10 mins to half an hour a day sunbathing (ok not in February in the snowbelts but when you can), exposing all of the body for some of the time.
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Last edited by pachiaammos; 02-08-2009 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:24 AM   #7
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A hot chocolate and diet thread, what an interesting mix. ( don't use marshmallows for the low fat version,lol ! )

Yes, mccoy, I am recovering - thank you for asking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mccoy View Post
I saw that film, if I remember well the woman was a choco-witch, as it were, cast her benign spells thru chocolate recipes.
hmmmm, I am getting the feeling that you are somewhat on the skeptical side of this, not quite like the mayor but not sure of her motives.

What timing on this, think I need to watch that movie again - perfect Valentine movie. Actually I think I would like to be a choco-witch, lol ! Tempting the senses with the lure of the chocolate, with heavenly intentions of course.

oh, before I forget, the reason for writing .... I have been thinking of this hot chocolate - cayenne pepper recipe and was in the mood to try it this morning, but I didn't want to make a large quantity - just in case I didn't like the taste. So I made a one cup recipe.

ORIGINAL Recipe
Spicy Hot chocolate

Ingredients
6 cups instant hot chocolate powder
3 tablespoons cinnamon
10 ounces herseys cinnamon baking chips
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon clove
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 cups mini marshmallows
Directions
Mix all ingredients together.
Place into 2 large glass jars or pre pack single servings. The 1/2 cup pre serving topped with hot water.

Individual Recipe for one cup of hot chocolate
1 cup instant hot chocolate powder ( or 3 pkgs of the instant hot choc. powder mix )
1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon
a dash of nutmeg - ( just sprinkle a little into the hot choc mix = dash )
a dash of ground cloves
and a dash of the cayenne pepper
If you are using the little pkgs of the hot choc. mix, some come with marshmallows in them

Delicious !! Enjoy !!
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