The food culture in Edmonton seems to have finally come of age a little. Farmers Markets are popping up everywhere you look and they are full of things like organic mushrooms, amazing jams, pickles, pasta, and of course plenty of baked goods. The restaurants in the city have kept right up and you can get great food at a great price. Competition is high for the dollars of Edmontonians and this is both a blessing and a curse. It means that progress is accelerated and the cream rises to the top while the rest are left behind.
Sadly, it also means that some overlooked gems might be accidental casualties. Good Food Box recently announced that they will be closing their doors. In March d’Lish Urban Kitchen and Wine Bar also announced they were closing. Those were sad days for me, but the saddest was certainly when I heard that Kerstin’s Chocolates was closing. Kerstin’s wasn’t necessarily closing because they weren’t doing okay but I would have to think that if they were booming it might still be open. They offered so many amazing chocolates in that store and I was blown away by the variety of textures, flavours, and smells that they could offer.
As soon as I heard they were going to be shutting down I made a purposeful trip to the store and left with a large bag of chocolates, including some stunning Taza orange mexican-style stone ground chocolate. I had heard many times about Mexican hot chocolate but so rarely came across the necessary chocolate that I never went about making it. Mexican style chocolate is quite course and often has a good amount of sugar added along with a little bit of spice such as cinnamon or chili. The bar I picked up was orange flavored and made a great cup of hot chocolate, but we decided to bump it up a little with some fresh orange zest. I highly recommend adding the zest since it is an amazing complement to the rich chocolate taste.
Mexican Hot Chocolate – Recipe
Makes 2 cups
2 cups whole milk
4 tbsp (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
About 3 oz (85g) Mexican-style sweet chocolate, chopped
Zest of 1/2 an orange
- Whisk the cocoa and salt into the milk in a small heavy saucepan.
- Heat over a medium-high heat while constantly whisking until it comes to a full boil.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until completely melted. (You can add the zest here and then strain it out if you like.)
- Pour into two cups and top with the zest.
I meant to put in a little note in this post on where to find Mexican chocolate in Edmonton now that Kerstin’s has closed and totally forgot. So my recommendation is to check Paraiso Tropical (9136 118 Ave) since I think the last time I went in there they had them. If you know of any other places that carry Mexican chocolate, please let everyone know in the comments below.
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