Wednesday, September 15, 2021

MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE: Yom Kippur, Crypto-Jews, and Mexico

The drinking or eating of Mexican Chocolate on Yom Kippur (at the pre-fast meal and at the breaking of the fast) has its roots in the Inquisition in 17th century New World Mexico. According to Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz, Crypto-Jews lived in Mexico in the 17th century, under the surveillance of the Inquisition. They developed subterfuges to avoid being discovered for their undercover Jewish practices, including those related to chocolate eating and drinking. They also took an active role in the cacao trade.

Read More Here.

Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz lectures about chocolate and Jews around the world. Her book, On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao, was published in 2013 by Jewish Lights and is in its second printing.

Mexican Hot Chocolate 
(a pareve version would have been used in the seventeenth-century)
Serves 8

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon Mexican vanilla extract

Melt chocolate in large bowl over simmering pan of water.
In separate heavy saucepan, heat milk and cream on low until hot, but not boiling.
Add 3 tablespoons of hot milk to chocolate in bowl and mix well.
Stir rest of  milk mixture, sugar, chile powders, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla into chocolate.
Whisk chocolate briskly for 3 minutes, over double boiler to thicken.

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