Like many of us that grew up in the country areas of Jamaica, the Jamaican chocolate is a favorite tea savored for breakfast and especially on Sunday mornings before church. Our chocolate tea is made directly from cacao pod seeds as oppose to the processed chocolate found in supermarkets around the world.
As a young child in the country you could watch as the elders harvest the cacao pods from the cacao tree and chopped the pods to get to the seed. The seeds were usually put to dry on zinc tops or banana leaves on top of the house for about a week, then parched and roasted and grounded to form gig sized balls for sale throughout the country.
However all of that is just the to get it into your pot on Sunday mornings when your mother would grater the chocolate balls and boil it in water with cinnamon sticks/leaves, pimento and nutmeg with a troops of salt and sweetened with condensed milk and sugar.
Now if you know anything about country life you know that the older folks drink their chocolate tea from enamel cups, piping hot which made us wonder about their need for suffering because our chocolate tea always has a layer of oil floating on the top (I guess you can see were am going here). The children’s chocolate tea is always in our little plastic tea cups and of course cooled to a manageable degree.
2 cups Water
2 cups Milk
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Pimento Leaf (or 5 Pimento Berries)
1 pinch Ground Nutmeg
3/4 cup Raw Chocolate, grated
2 pinches Salt
1/3 cup Condensed Milk, or sweeten to taste
- Combine water and milk in a medium-size saucepan
- 2. Add cinnamon stick, pimento, nutmeg and chocolate and bring to a boil, stirring for 5 minutes
- 3. Stir in salt and lower heat to a simmer; stir in condensed milk to sweeten
- 4. Remove cinnamon stick and pimento
- 5. Pour chocolate tea into mugs using a small strainer
Enjoy! Serves 4
Christopher Columbus is thought to be the first European to carry beans back to Europe (around 1502) but they were as curiosities. The introduction of chocolate to Europe has been traced to Dominican Friars who in 1544 took a delegation of Maya to visit Prince Philip in Spain and they carried receptacles of beaten chocolate as gifts.
Chocolate, coffee and tea are believed to have arrived in England at roughly the same time. When Cromwell’s forces captured Jamaica from the Spanish in 1655 there were already flourishing cacao “walks” that lasted until a ‘blight’ caused their demise in the 1670’s. Jamaica was the main supplier of cacao to England during this period. – Reference;http://wwwchem.uwimona.edu.jm/lectures/cocoa.html