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This, my friends, is my latest obsession. Right there along with gumbo, beef stew, and flu chaser soup. I just can’t stop eating chocolate, and if you are going to eat chocolate you might as well go for the gusto. My husband prefers milk chocolate of the Hershey’s variety, but I prefer dark. In fact, the darker the better. I often find myself munching on the bittersweet bits of chocolate that go into cookies, stopping just short of the unsweetened stuff. Maybe it’s the wintry mix outside, or maybe it’s a holdover from Christmas sweets, but for some  reason I can’t get enough dark chocolate, preferably enjoyed with a cup of ginger tea.

Last year I noticed a new stand at the farmer’s market. It was a local “beans to bar” chocolate maker called Taza Chocolate. It took me a while to actually buy any, but when I did I fell in love. This stuff is amazing, and I’m not even writing this because they sent me a free sample like they did some people (ahem, hello? what am I chopped liver? Just kidding). I found out that a local wine store carries the stuff (cheaper than Whole Foods), and I’ve stopped in so much lately that I’ve gotten to know the lady behind the counter.

The Chocolate Mexicano pictured above is for drinking, although I also like to eat it. These disks come in vanilla, cinnamon, and almond. Here’s a video that Taza posted on facebook on now to make authentic Mexican hot chocolate (I can’t get it to display on this blog since it’s on facebook). The package comes with two discs, the outside says “2.7 oz.” In the video he mentions that one disc is 2.75 oz. This confused me, since the packaging makes it look like both discs weigh 2.7 oz. I made one cup yesterday and used half a disc for 8 oz. of water and it turned out delicious. I did simmer it on the stove for a few minutes until it was the consistency I wanted. As he says in the video, you can also use milk. My friend from Colombia uses milk in her hot chocolate and puts pieces of salty mozzerella cheese in it….Don’t knock it ’til you try it! I promise it’s good. You let the pieces of cheese melt in the warm chocolate and then fish them out with a spoon. They’ll be softly melted and add a nice contrast to your sweet beverage. I recommend putting the cheese in hot chocolate made with milk; it’s a more natural pairing, I think.

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