In this video we learn how to prepare sikwate (or tsokolate), the traditional hot chocolate of the Philippines, starting with local Criollo Cacao, an Ark of Taste product.
Cacao beans were brought to the Philippines by the Spanish Friars for their private consumption and as a drink to be served to their esteemed and important guests during the 1500s. The Philippines was the first country to receive cacao outside of the New World when the Spanish brought it there from the Soconusco region of Mexico.
The cacao cultivated in the Philippines during the first two centuries after its introduction belonged entirely to the Mesoamerican Criollo group. Today, the cultivar can still be found growing wild in some areas. As the seedlings spread, Filipino farmers eventually planted the cacao seeds around the perimeter of their homes as prized possessions, for accessibility and for consumption only of the family. This being said, cacao harvesting and processing became a family tradition and activity.
Today, Criollo cacao is used in the Philippines to make chocolate bars called tablea and in a traditional hot chocolate drink (tsokolate).
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