Saturday, December 27, 2008

Venezuelans 1: Swiss 0

As my friends all know, when I find something I really like, I get very excited about it and have to tell everyone I meet about it. From time to time, I suspect I'll be moved to share that excitement here on EATS!.

Evan and I often like to have a cup of hot cocoa of an evening after Elspeth has been tucked in bed. We've tried all of the (ridiculously expensive) luxury brands such as Dagoba and some others I can't remember the names of. We had high hopes for Theo's chipotle sipping chocolate since we love their other products, but while Evan liked it, I didn't like the spice blend very much. Eventually we settled on Ibarra. Though it's not very chocolatey, it's satisfying in its way. We never even bothered re-trying the Swiss Miss type instant cocoa of our childhoods, knowing that they taste nothing of chocolate and are full of fake stuff. Even the lure of built-in marshmallows couldn't tempt us.

The Chowhound General board pointed me in the right direction after someone inquired about the best mail order hot chocolate. Many users said that Chuao hot chocolate, made by a pair of Venezuelan brothers, is wonderful. I decided to take a chance and ordered a set of the Abuela and the Spicy Maya from Amazon for a Christmas gift to Evan.

We exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve and couldn't wait to try the cocoa. We started with the Abuela. The serving size is 1/2 cup because it's more of a sipping chocolate than a hot chocolate. I was leery because it calls for just water rather than milk (it's got dried milk powder in it), but this stuff is fantastic! It's easy to make and doesn't leave unmelted dregs in the pan like the Ibarra always does. Evan drank it straight, but I had to mix mine with an equal portion of whole milk to cut the richness of the chocolate. Next time I would warm the milk first. We're eager to try the Spicy Maya. I wanted to get the gift set of 3 types (including a 'Winter' blend) but I could only find it at the Chuao website and the shipping was insanely expensive. The cocoa itself isn't cheap, but I feel it's worth the investment.

There you have it: Venezuelans score while the Swiss (Miss) doesn't even get near the goal.

No comments: