Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Holy Ghost Chocolate

My grandmother is 103 years old. And she’s amazing. In the mornings, we sit on an elderly porch—her last living sibling and watch the morning fog as it encamps around us like ghosts joining us for a cup of Jamaican chocolate tea. Her fingers are more like rickety wands now, grasping that large mug with the words #1 Grandma fading like the words on my grandfather’s tomb which is just beneath us.  You haven’t had real hot chocolate until you’ve had this tea. The cacao is beaten in a mortar and heated with water, condensed milk, vanilla, nutmeg and allspice. The result is a creamy river of dark chocolate and sweet spice twirling around your palate. You can buy the knock-off cacao from local Caribbean markets. They usually come prepackaged with a dry cinnamon leaf and while they’re tastier than generic chocolate powder, it’s not the same. My cousin brought me some from Manchester last week and I could immediately smell the terroir—the deep, dark, red soil that surrounds the pimento and cacao trees. I can smell my granny sipping time like a true OG.

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