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Click: LIQUID COMFORT (Trini Home Chocolate)

CLICK - Liquid Comfort in Trini home chocolateI am coming close to missing this deadline of Click. I knew the minute the theme was announced what my Liquid Comfort was going to be. Hot Chocolate. But not just any chocolate, but Trini home chocolate, made from home grown cocoa, mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg and bay leaf. This was a regular weekend morning breakfast drink at home. Mom would boil the bars of chocolate, and add milk and sugar or condensed milk. The drink was always gritty with the cocoa solids and spices, so it had to be strained, which we did over the sink since we had iffy coordination. Although the packaging said simply dissolve in hot water, we always boiled it with the water, milk and sugar. So my memories include scalded tongues for the rest of the weekend, because who could wait with the scent of cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg wafting up at you.

CLICK - Liquid Comfort in Trini home chocolateHome chocolate, or cocoa tea, isn’t the most beautiful looking of drinks, so maybe it wasn’t the wisest choice for a photo event. Particularly with my lack of experience on staging food, and perfectly lit places in my apartment. The natural oils in the cocoa can seep upwards, and the top of the drink gets a dark sometimes gritty sheen. If you boil it with the milk, you also can get a little cracking in that darkness. Not the creamy richness, or milky goodness of other hot chocolate drinks, topped with marshmallows or whipped cream (both of which, for the record, I don’t really like), but it’s good. And it’s home for me. I don’t know why certain chain cafes in Trinidad sell “Mexican Spiced” hot chocolate, when we have our very own spicy chocolate mixture. Sigh. Regard this as my bid to start commercial availability chocolate-tea, Trini-style, at all those trendy habitual hot-drink establishments.

Trinidad cocoa has a history behind it. We developed a pest resistant strain of fine cocoa, that survived ravages to the cocoa industry decades ago. The Wikipedia entry for cacao: “Trinitario, a hybrid of Criollo and Forastero, is used in about 10% of chocolate.”. But that’s not all that makes it famous; cacao trinitario is a gourmet item. We know our cocoa here…or we should. The truth is, the elite cocoa is sold almost directly from the Gran Couva estate to European chocolate purveyors. Valhrona created history, for example, in creating vintage chocolate by single domains. And Trini cocoa was used in one of the lines:

CLICK - Liquid Comfort in Trini home chocolate

By creating Gran Couva, Valrhona was the first in the world of chocolate to produce the first vintage domain chocolate. Its taste is unique as it comes from a single domain.

In Trinidad in the Caribbean, on the domain of Gran Couva, some of the best cacao varieties are grown – the Trinitarios. We have selected the most promising cocoa beans from among the best batches of this Domain for their delightful aroma.

There is only a limited quantity of each vintage.

But what I had this morning was just good old home chocolate. I don’t know the vintage, or the precise estate and perhaps my nostalgia is the dominant element of my enjoyment. :-) That’s not a problem. I present to you options for my entry into Click for January 2008.

CLICK - Liquid Comfort in Trini home chocolateI have until January 30 to submit my entry, and I don’t know which one to submit. If anyone has any ideas (other than re-shoot, since this is the 2nd attempt) I’d appreciate them! Right now, I’m leaning towards the first or last photo. I am not expecting to win any prizes (the current entries include some simply fantastic shots) but it’s hard for me to decide when I can only see the flaws.

 click-logo.jpg

I have now decided. After looking at them intermittently all day, I think the last shot should go to Bee and Jai for CLICK! I need to move away from my preference for closeups in food shots.

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19 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. Trini hot Chocolate is also my favorite indulgence I stock up on Carlos That Trinitario cocoa is truly the Best!

    1. Nicole on January 28th, 2008 at 4:11 pm
  2. Hey Nicole! Oh yes, I believe Carlos is actually the brand I have in my fridge right now.

    2. Chennette on January 28th, 2008 at 6:48 pm
  3. Since a reshoot is out of the question – I think its the mug not the liquid comfort thats steaming in it that could be changed – the mug fits English tea, not trini cocoa tea – ok, enough on the mug, I’ll choose either the penultimate or the last shot… ok, the penultimate one, I like the angle of the shot!

    3. TamarindBall on January 28th, 2008 at 11:44 pm
  4. sigh. when you’re right, you’re right. The mug is “Arthur Wood. Fine Bone China. Established 1884.” London or Merseyside…
    I don’t think I have any suitable mugs, here (and btw Ms TB, you don’t need to take that as an invitation to gift! 😀 ). Well, the flat came with some small ones that might work…with a more homey cocoa feel…may reshoot anyway, even if not for the Click event. Maybe when I go home Wednesday. Enamel cups and cocoa-tea?
    Hmm, yes, the angle of the penultimate is cool now that I look at it again :-) I was sure, when viewing them on Flickr that the last one was best, but then they all grow on me over time for different reasons.

    4. Chennette on January 29th, 2008 at 12:15 am
  5. and I think I should hire you as my consultant, since you clearly browsing at convenient hours!

    5. Chennette on January 29th, 2008 at 12:19 am
  6. Yum.

    And I agree with TamarindBall about the reshoot… bone china tea mug doesn’t quite look right filled with a substantial chocolately drink. 😉 At least for your purposes here…

    I do like your new site quite a bit… :-)

    6. ewe_are_here on January 30th, 2008 at 12:32 pm
  7. Just the thing to cuddle up to someone and share, last thing at night.

    7. Mike on January 30th, 2008 at 1:51 pm
  8. The angle of the penultimate shot is good – but I think a reshoot is needed to incorporate 2 things: (1) Steam rising from the wickedly-hot chorck-late, and (2) some other prop – like a twig of cocoa or a ripe, purple, shiney cacao pod! Maybe even partially cut open to show the white-coated “beans” it contains.

    Great trini blogsite: I’ll be back as often as I remember.

    8. Strider on January 30th, 2008 at 6:08 pm
  9. Hi ewe and welcome Mike and Strider
    Thanks to all for the input. Frankly, I wasn’t sure I would get comments, and I am sorry for being so lacking in faith 😀 Asking for help brought me 2 new commenters too!
    I will reshoot this, although Strider, I am not sure if I can lay my hands on your suggested props by Sunday, when I leave Trinidad again. Enamel mug might have to evoke the feeling…

    9. Chennette on January 30th, 2008 at 7:43 pm
  10. Thanks for the great post (and pics!). I could practically smell the hot chocolate…It is amazing how memories of food and drink are so tied to thoughts of family, friends, life events. Making hot chocolate was a childhood ritual that only my dad and I shared and to this day we still continue that tradition.

    As an aside, my favourite “food” pairing for hot chocolate is coconut bread, straight from the oven.

    10. Mango on January 31st, 2008 at 10:33 am
  11. Ah, yes, coconut bake and cheese. Or fry bake too!
    Sada roti and cheese. All wonderful accompaniments to cocoa tea.
    BTW, I love the name of your blog :-) It has such a ring to it.
    mangoandmosquitoblog.wordpress.com

    11. Chennette on January 31st, 2008 at 11:08 am
  12. This is the only way and the best way to have hot chocolate, I believe.

    12. Cynthia on February 1st, 2008 at 3:18 pm
  13. Channette!
    Those pictures are delicious :)
    I found you also on Flickr and I added to my contacts.
    Thank you for commenting on my photos…
    Have a wonderful weekend, Margot

    13. Coffee and Vanilla on February 2nd, 2008 at 9:57 pm
  14. Welcome Margot, and thanks!

    14. Chennette on February 2nd, 2008 at 10:05 pm
  15. The one thing I like about homemade coco is tasting a touch of the dregs in the coco. You write well because I can almost taste a cup of hot coco after reading your post :)

    15. aka_lol on February 4th, 2008 at 9:42 am
  16. oh, dregs :-) to remind you you’re drinking the real thing. I actually took a picture of the dregs in my cup when I was done, but since I’d already shut the door (and the light) and was already in that lethargic post-cocoa tea weekend feel, it wasn’t that great and I deemed it unfit for public consumption.
    thanks for the nice words 😀

    16. Chennette on February 4th, 2008 at 11:29 am
  17. Just had to go make myself some after reading this. Had this packet lurking in the fridge for a couple of years… I guess it just keeps! no best before date and I remember it always looked like that…

    Now I feel so warm (just as well with this London weather!)

    17. Milady on January 31st, 2009 at 9:31 am
  18. The best thing for me with my Chocolate Tea is a nice piece of Coconut Bake with Brule Johl. Another thing is Fry Shark and Fry Bake so delicous you’ll bite your tongue.

    18. Sandra on November 30th, 2010 at 1:38 am
  19. coconut bake and cocoa tea are indeed a classic combo, as well as fry bake – that reminds me of mom making breakfast.

    19. Chennette on November 30th, 2010 at 12:40 pm

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