Señora Alicia prepares hot chocolate just as they do in Mexico, rolling the molinillo in her palms to beat the special Mexican chocolate and hot milk until foamy. While beating the chocolate she says a traditional chant called "El chocolate."
This video was adapted from ¡Arte y más!, originally produced by KET as a complete curriculum for primary-level Spanish based on arts and humanities content. Spanish teachers can use these resources in traditional or online instruction to reinforce language acquisition and teach about Latin American culture.
Chocolate Coloring Page (Document)
Chocolate is only one of many important foods which originated in the Americas. Potatoes, corn, tomatoes, domesticated turkey, and chilies all come from the indigenous cultures of North and South America. Chocolate, which comes from the cacao plant, was grown and used by the Aztecs of Mexico, although they drank it without sugar and flavored it with chili pepper! Even today, a popular traditional dish in Mexico is mole, a complex sauce that is made of many ingredients including chocolate and served with chicken or turkey.
The Aztecs associated the cacao plant with the god Quetzalcoatl. The beans of this plant were so treasured they were used as currency for hundreds of years in Mexico. The drink made from the beans of the cacao was often reserved for royalty and religious ceremonies, but it was not until it reached Spain that sugar and spices were added to produce the hot chocolate we are more familiar with today. In Mexico, hot chocolate is usually made with cinnamon.
Hot chocolate in Mexico is traditionally made in a clay pot and it whisked with a wooden tool called a molinillo. Since traditional chocolate will separate from the milk, it needs to be vigorously stirred and whisked to a froth to keep it blended. Even the ancient Mexican Indian words for hot chocolate might come from choco (“foam”) and atl (“water), although there are many theories for the origin of the word chocolate. This early type of processing chocolate is the origin of the traditional song that Señora Alicia uses in this video.
Activity: Do you know where these foods are from?
chocolate, molinillo, bate, caliente, leche.
For this activity, you will need:
• potatoes, tomatoes, chilies, corn, chocolate
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