Mexican Hot Chocolate Goes Mainstream

Mexican Hot Chocolate Goes Mainstream

Authentic Mexican Drink Being “Discovered” by Californians


Berkeley, CA—(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–November 9, 2004–Californians used to think of hot chocolate as a bland, watery drink for kids. Authentic Mexican hot chocolate (Chocolate Mexicano) is rapidly changing that perception. Made with real milk, dark Mexican chocolate, and spices like vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg, it is traditionally enjoyed twice a day, year-round, across most of Mexico, Central and Latin America. And, now it’s showing up on mainstream California menus, like Sacramento’s Cup-A-Joe, Redding’s Espresso Joe’s and LA’s Sabor y Cultura.

“We’ve seen a real surge in Mexican hot chocolate,” says Ramón Pantoja, owner of Los Angeles-based Sabor y Cultura Café (formerly Espresso Mi Cultura). “People want a more sophisticated, flavorful drink.”

As part of the “Latinization of America” Mexican hot chocolate is being sipped all across the state and is definitely not just for kids. Trendy places like L.A.’s trendy Sabor y Cultura, serve up high-end Mexican hot chocolates to the sights and sounds of Latin musicians, beat poets and comedians. Montrose’s Black Cow Café even hand grinds all their own spices. And, due to the availability of ready-to-serve Mexican hot chocolate mixes in major supermarkets and Latin grocery stores, Californians can now make them at home.

“Mexican hot chocolate is a great tasting way for people to get the milk they need,” says Jeff Manning, executive director, California Milk Processor Board. “They have no idea how much calcium they’re getting.”

Dark chocolate pairs nicely with fresh milk – not only in terms of flavor, but for health reasons as well. According to a recent Harvard study, dark chocolate contains chemicals that ward off depression and are good for the heart. Paired with milk – the best natural source of calcium – Mexican hot chocolate is a delicious way to chase away the winter blues and strengthen your bones at the same time.

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Basic Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe

2 cups milk 1 disk of Mexican chocolate or (4 ounces dark bitter chocolate)

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Warm the milk and chocolate in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the seeds and bean to the milk. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture begins to boil. Remove from the heat and froth mixture with a molinillo (Mexican wooden whisk) or wire whisk. Serve immediately in ample sized mugs.

Hot Chocolate Facts

— Americans consumed over 3.4 billion lbs of chocolate in 2003 – nearly 12 lbs of chocolate per person.*

— Mexican hot chocolate was first brought to Europe from Central America by Christopher Columbus and Hernando Cortez in the late 1500s. **

— Hot chocolate originates from the Aztecs who traditionally made it from bitter-sweet cacao bean paste, water, chili peppers, and vanilla to produce a frothy chocolate beverage called “xocolatl.” **

About the CMPB

The California Milk Processor Board was established in 1993 to make milk more competitive and increase milk consumption in California. GOT MILK? is a registered trademark and has been licensed nationally since 1995. A separate Spanish-language campaign has been running in California since 1994. GOT MILK? gifts and recipes can be viewed at The CMPB is funded by all California milk processors and administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

* National Confectioners Association, 2003.

** The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (



Molly Ireland



April Yap


Mexican Hot Chocolate Goes Mainstream