L!VE List
Home > Latin > Hot Chocolate in Latin America
Page Rating
Content Quality:

Page Importance:
Author Pick:
Close Map

Book a Hotel or Hostel

Hotels Hostels & Budget


Check in Date

Check out Date

Number of Rooms




It began as a hot potion sipped only by noble Mayans in ancient Latin America, but today hot chocolate is a common beverage found around the world in homes, cafés and supermarkets. However, as its popularity soared and its birthplace was lost in commerce, its native land never forgot how to make a perfect, decadently rich hot chocolate.



After all, the seed responsible for making mouths melt—whether as a liquid or as a solid bar—hails from Latin America. Found in most tropical climates in Latin America, the cacao plant is the root of all chocolate treats. Cacao has been mashed, ground, shaved, sipped, baked and frozen for centuries.



The white seeds—yes, white—are nested inside a yellow, squash-like fruit which grows from the lanky cacao plant. Picked fresh from the tree and cracked open, you can suck on the large seeds which have a somewhat bitter taste.



The white seeds are usually roasted over fire, turning dark brown, and then peeled. Once bare, the seeds are reheated and with little effort they melt into a brown, heavenly smelling liquid. With a dash of milk, honey, vanilla or cinnamon, the rich, delectable treat which people of the world call chocolate comes to be.  



Over 2,000 years ago, the cacao bean was considered like gold and used as a form of currency by the Mayans. Whether it was Hernando Cortez or Christopher Columbus who brought the cacao beans to Spain has been the subject of debate. Most reports say that somewhere between 1517 and 1519, Hernando Cortez was offered a drink, in a golden goblet, by Montezuma II. Cortez tasted the drink made by the Aztecs and declared it a treasure. Apparently Montezuma II called it “chocolatl,” meaning warm liquid, and he consumed up to 50 goblets a day. Aside from that, chocolatl was reportedly drunk only during special ceremonies.   



Cortez is said to then have brought the beans back to Spain where the chocolate drink was made, heated and sweetened. It was an aristocratic beverage, to be sipped only by the upper class. By the mid-1600s, word got out. The drink became took hold among the French and the first official hot chocolate parlor was opened in London.



Currently, hot chocolate is celebrated in Latin America, primarily because of its rich, full-bodied flavor. In many parts of the world hot chocolate is blended with boiling water, but in Latin American warm milk is used, making it just that much more creamy and smooth (if also fattening) in consistency. While still retaining its power as a special drink, Latin Americans typically sip hot chocolate after dinner or as a treat. Needless to say, special goblets are no longer used—regular ol’ mugs or tea cups suffice.  



It is also common for different countries to give the drink a special twist. In Colombia and Ecuador for example, it is common to have chocolate caliente con queso, essentially hot chocolate with a slab of fresh cheese, on the top and left to melt. It might sound bizarre but the salty flavor of the cheese mixes perfectly with the sweet chocolate flavor. Possibly an acquired taste, but most who try it are pleasantly surprised. Peruvians tend to put in a little extra chocolate syrup to their warm chocolate milk, the enhanced sweetness making it a dessert, but a very good one at that.



In Argentina, hot chocolate is served up in many fashions, the most popular being the submarino, consisting of steamed milk in a mug with a chocolate bar on the side. The bar should be submerged into the milk and will quickly disappear, melting into the liquid. A quick stir and a dash of sugar make it extra creamy, but the best part is that it tastes, and is, freshly made.    



Whichever way you take your hot chocolate, make sure you sip some in Latin America. If you feel the guilt of chocolate over-indulgence come on after consuming two or three cups, remember this is special stuff was once reserved for kings and queens. So sit back and treat yourself royally.

View Map

Antarctica | Central America and Mexico | South America |
Advertise | Anúnciese | Jobs | Alliances | Alianzas | Terms of Use | Contact Us | About Us | Blog | Administradores |
You must register as an owner for access to these listing tools and benefits.

Notification of new reviews: receive your latest reviews by e-mail

Customized request-a-review link: encourage guests to spread the word about your property

Our owners' newsletter: stay informed about our latest tools and benefits for you

User login

Enter your username and password here in order to log into the website:


Create a new V!VA account

Forgot Password