A curious treatise of the nature and quality of chocolate. VVritten in Spanish by Antonio Colmenero, doctor in physicke and chirurgery. And put into English by Don Diego de Vades-forte
Colmenero de Ledesma, Antonio., Wadsworth, James, 1604-1656?

The way of Compounding.

THe Cacao, and the other Ingredients must be beaten in a Morter of Stone, or ground upon a broad stone, which the Indians call Metate, and is onely made for that use: But the first thing that is to be done, is to dry the Ingredients, all except the Achiote; with care that they may be beaten to powder, keeping them still in stirring, that they be not burnt, or become blacke; and if they be over-dried, they will be bit∣ter, and lose their vertue. The Cinamon, and the long red Pepper are to be first beaten, with the Annis-seed; and then beate the Cacao, which you must beate by a little and, little, till it be all powdred; and sometimes turne it round in the beating, that it may mixe the better: And every one of these Ingredients, must be beaten by it selfe; and then put all the Ingredients into the Vessell, where the Cacao is; which you must stirre together with a spoone, and then take out that Paste, and put it into the Morter, under which you must lay a little fire, after the Confection is made. But you must be very carefull, not to put more fire, than will warme it, that the unctuous part doe not dry away. And you must also take care, to put in the Achiote in the beating; that it may the better take the colour. You must Searse all the Ingredients, but one∣ly the Cacao; and if you take the shell from the Cacao, it is the better; and when you shall find it to be well beaten, and in∣corporated (which you shall know by the shortnesse of it) then Page  17 with a spoone take up some of the Paste, which will be almost liquid; and so either make it into Tablets; or put it into Boxes, and when it is cold it will be hard. To make the Tablets, you must put a spoonefull of the paste upon a piece of paper, the Indians put it upon the leaf of a Planten-tree; where, being put into the shade, it growes hard; and then bowing the pa∣per, the Tablet falls off, by reason of the fatnesse of the paste. But if you put it into any thing of earth, or wood, it sticks fast, and will not come off, but with scraping, or breaking. In the Indies they take it two severall waies: The one, being the common way, is to take it hot, with Atolle, which was the Drinke of the Ancient Indians (the Indians call Atolle pappe, made of the flower of Maiz, and so they mingle it with the Chocolate; and that the Atolle may be more wholsome, they take off the Huskes of the Maiz, which is windy, and melan∣choly; and so there remaines onely the best and most substan∣tiall part.) Now, to returne to the matter, I say, that the o∣ther Moderne drinke, which the Spaniards use so much, is of two sorts. The one is, that the Chocolate, being dissolved with cold water, and the scumme taken off, and put into ano∣ther Vessell, the remainder is put upon the fire, with Sugar; and when it is warme, then powre it upon the Scumme you tooke off before, and so drinke it. The other is to warme the water; and then, when you have put it into a pot, or dish, as much Chocolate as you thinke fit, put in a little of the warme water, and then grind it well with the molinet; and when it is well ground, put the rest of the warme water to it; and so drinke it with Sugar.

Besides these former wayes, there is one other way; which is, to put the Chocolate into a pipkin, with a little water; and let it boyle well, till it be dissolved; and then put in sufficient water and sugar, according to the quantity of the Chocolate; and then boyle it againe, untill there comes an oyly summe upon it; and then drinke it. But if you put too much fire, it Page  18 will runne over, and spoyle. But, in my opinion, this last way is not so wholsome, though it pleaseth the pallate better; because, when the Oily is divided from the earthy part, which remaines at the bottome, it causeth Melancholy; and the oily part loosens the stomacke, and takes away the appetite. There is another way to drinke Chocolate, which is cold; and it takes its name from the principall Ingredient, and is called Cacao; which they use at feasts, to refresh themselves; and it is made afrer this manner. The Chocolate being dissolved in water with the Molinet, take off the scumme, or crassy part, which ri∣seth in greater quantity, when the Cacao is older, and more putrified. The scumme is laid aside by it selfe in a little dish; and then put sugar into that part, from whence you took the scumme; and powre it from on high into the scumme; and so drinke it cold. And this drinke is so cold, that it agreeth not with all mens stomacks; for by experience we finde the hurt it doth, by causing paines in the stomacke, and especially to Women. I could deliver the reason of it; but I avoyd it, be∣cause I will not be tedious.

There is another way to drinke it cold, which is called Cacao Penoli; and it is done, by adding to the same Chocolate (having made the Confection, as is before set downe) so much Maiz, dryed, and well ground, and taken from the Huske, and then well mingled, in the Morter, with the Chocolate, it falls all into flowre, or dust: And so these things being mingled, as is said before, there riseth the Scum; and so you take and drink it, as before.

There is another way, which is a shorter and quicker way of making it, for men of businesse, who cannot stay long about it; and it is more wholsome; and it is that, which I use. That is, first to set some water to warm; and while it warms, you throw a Tablet, or some Chocolate, scraped, and mingled with sugar, into a little Cup; and when the water is hot, you power the water to the Chocolate, and then dissolve it with Page  19 the Molinet; and then, without taking off the scum, drinke it, as is before directed.