Saturday, February 27, 2016
I would like to refresh Antigua's cultural memory of local chocolate bars and drinking chocolate by posting a review by Shel Horowitz from 2006,a year after we at Tostaduria Antigua invented as far,as I can ascertain, the first whole bean cacao honey bar in the world and the first truly 'bean to bar' then and probably even today because everyone else here uses cocoa powder and cocoa butter to make their chocolate sugar sweetened bars.In fact I believe ALL chocolate bars using sugar require more cocoa butter in their bars than is found naturally in cacao beans but honey in part mimics cocoa butter and melts with the cocoa butter around body temperature so the are a perfect combination for making a truly 'whole bean' bar without need for any part of the 'Dutch process'- devised in Holland in 1827 and which is the standard even today to make cocoa butter and cocoa powder.Chocolate-sugar bars require around 65% cocoa butter whereas natural beans contain only 52% to 58% so the Dutch process of a ton to 3 tons of pressure to separate the butter from what becomes chocolate powder is basically mandatory.
Mr.Ghirardelli of SF started a rumor or,I believe,a joke in 1865 in California that he was making his cocoa butter from a 'broma' process.I only heard of it when Mitchell Bodian's ChocoMuseo arrived and claimed to make his own cocoa butter from the 'broma process'.Later they admitted that they DID NOT but bought their cocoa butter made by the conventional Dutch press process.
I should take a moment to refresh Gg's cultrural memory as well.She states she began making her drinking chocolate,(made just like the nice folks in San Juan Del Obispo,Mixco and Oaxaca),about 9 years ago.This would be almost as early as we began making cacao honey bars in 2005.In fact she began after seeing us making cacao honey bars and simple ground bean unsweetened cacao for baking,etc.She was making regular visits to a man living near us studying 'Mayan astrology' and found us around 2008.I know this because it coincided with the time someone tried to filch our idea of using Theobroma Bicolor or 'pataxte',
which we discovered by accident in cacao beans we bought, and had it identified as such in 2005 as well.I could not easily find an adequate amount of pataxte to buy and grind at the time,(only a few surviving older women in Suchitepequez use it to make a corn drink called 'tiste' and it is mentioned in Popul Vuh) so I told just about any traveler and coffee client who came in the store about it in hopes they might find some for me in their travels in Guatemala cacao area and bring some back for me to grind.Someone decided to take advantage of my openness and get a head start in making the real white chocolate that I assumed could be made from the butter in its whole beans.Fortunately although they procured a small amount of pataxte they didn't know enough to simply grind the beans to test it for its butter properties.We did and published about that on the internet in 2009.
Below is a link to the old frugalfun.com blogspot of Shel Horowitz that mentions us in 2006 and below that a link to an indymedia UK site where I first posted my research and development of pataxte for a solid whole bean white chocolate product in 2009.
2da Avenida Sur #34