Seven Grains Chocolate

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Seven Grains Chocolate

Everybody knows about the origin of cacao, but nowadays much of this precious crop is used for the production of industrial chocolate and other processed foods. In certain areas of the Andean region of Boyacà in north central Colombia, however, there is still the tradition of the artisanal mix of several grains to obtain a chocolate beverage base. The name ‘7 grains chocolate’ explains the number of ingredients needed to prepare the base mix. Roasted cocoa beans, wheat, soy, barley, green peas, peanuts and lima beans are all ground, mixed together and flavored with cloves and cinnamon. In the local markets of Boyacà, there are stands where it is sometimes possible to find this chocolate mix. The origin of the recipe is unknown, but it has long been used as the base for hot chocolate made at home. The traditional 7 grains mix has great nutritional value because of the use of legumes. To prepare it, milk and sugar are added to the base, which thickens as it cooks thanks to the presence of the grains. It was a very common beverage consumed for breakfast before the arrival of industrial chocolate pastes, which are the most used preparations today. Seven grains chocolate has already begun to disappear from the local culinary tradition. Industrially produced chocolate pastes for hot beverages are one of the most sold products in Colombia, at every socioeconomic level. The promotion of the traditional product, however, could ignite a rediscovery of artisanal local foods. Promotion of the nutritional, environmental and social benefits of artisanal cacao could help make 7 grains chocolate more accepted and asked for by consumers.Photo: Juan Camilo Quintero Merchan  

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Territory

StateColombia
Region

Boyacá