Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review - American Heritage Hot Chocolate

It's Thanksgiving time! Turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, those mashed sweet potatoes with the marshmallows melted on top... Mmmmm.... The Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony probably loved those sweet potatoes with the marshmallows on top! Ok, ok, they probably didn't have marshmallows.

Sadly, the Pilgrims didn't have chocolate, either. Reports online vary, but I've read that chocolate did not arrive in the American colonies until about 1670, when European chocolate was being sold in Boston. While Baker's Chocolate is arguably the oldest producer of chocolate in America, setting up shop in 1764, I also read that cacao beans were being imported into Boston as early as 1682. Benjamin Franklin was reportedly selling chocolate from his printing shop in 1735!

So what is this I have here? American Heritage Chocolate's Finely Grated Chocolate Drink. As I've mentioned before, chocolate was a drink long before it became an edible bar. This is hot chocolate as the colonists may have enjoyed it. It's a brand created by Mars (the folks who make M&M's and Snickers bars) using a recipe from 1750 and ingredients only available at that time in the United States.

In keeping with the theme of being historically accurate and tied to America's founders, American Heritage Chocolate is only sold at museums and historic sites here in the States. Places like George Washington's Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. In fact, Washington served chocolate to guests of Mount Vernon from 1758 until his death in 1799!

I bought mine from their website and had it shipped. If you go now, you'll notice the packaging has changed. When I got mine, it came in this cool little burlap bag. I had also purchased some chocolate sticks, and those came in a little burlap sack, too. Very cool! The new packaging is a canister. Not bad, but not as fun as the burlap bag!

But what really matters is what's in the bag.

It's not a powder mix but ground up chocolate, which is always preferable. It smells sweet and very much like cinnamon and vanilla. It's a very pleasant smell, and very different from other chocolates I've had, even though I've certainly had plenty with vanilla and cinnamon.

The instructions say to make it with water. Water always lets the real flavor of the chocolate come through, so I stuck with the instructions.

It's very good, definitely a distinct flavor, very tasty. It's easy to believe the colonials drank chocolate similar to this. Something about it feels very earthy. Maybe there's even a potpourri essence about it.

Using the amount of chocolate listed in the instructions made this a rather thin hot chocolate, and a very small portion, only about half a cup. Out of curiosity, I went ahead and made another small batch with milk instead of water.

This one was much more satisfying! Creamy and yummy, the milk was perfect with the flavors of the chocolate. While it may not be historically accurate, I much prefer it with milk.

If you're a history buff, or maybe want to bring a touch of old time charm to your Thanksgiving, this is definitely worth checking out. It's also a great hot chocolate to have on hand for Christmas!

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds good! :D Must try that! Annd Happy Thanksgiving :)