Dueling Dishes: Mexican Hot Chocolate Edition

It still amazes me to see, even a politically disheartening year later: an African American, a woman and, well, still one old white guy, sitting at the head of our government for the State of the Union. So how else to enjoy the moment–and avoid any urges to throw nearby objects at the screen, or to yell at steely, non-applauding over-tanned Republicans–than to sugar-coat the event with a bit of classic Americana? Hot chocolate.

But the classics change as the county does, so as chipotle peppers flavor drive-through burgers and tomatillos grow in the White House garden and a Latina Supreme Court justice sits front-and-center during a joint session of Congress, something slightly different was in order: Mexican hot chocolate–a bit more bitter, no marshmallows and shot through with a tongue-warming hit of cinnamon.

So, yes: Fuck you Lou Dobbs. And Joe Wilson too, while we're at it

I was out of Ibarra, my brand of choice, so with a fresh box–if something with that many sides can still be called a box–of Nestle's Abuelita chocolate disks from the local tienda, the usual rigorous testing that goes into a Dueling Dishes post commenced.

Ibarra has a hearty does of cinnamon in its chocolate, which is not too sweet and has a bit of a dark, bitter edge to it. The drink is certainly richer when made with milk, but still cooks up with good body if made with water. Abuelita, with its iconic grandmother image, is similar in most aspects, but without quite as strong of a cinnamon kick.

With Mexican film star Sarah García as the long time face of Abuelita, Nestle has the pop culture cred locked. Hispanic gossip blogger Michael K even named Abuelita Hot Chocolate “Hot Slut of the Week” on D Listed last year. But when it comes to flavor? The Guadalajara-based Ibarra out does the now European-owned Abuelita.

Still, drinking either will piss off Lou Dobbs, so have at it.

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