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It has been drizzling here and we have been spending time more at home. During rainy season, its nice to just lazy around, eat or drink something piping hot. Sopas (chicken noodle soup), almondigas (pork meatballs with thin rice noodles in broth) and champorado (chocolate rice porridge) are staple meals in our home. As for drinks, nothing beats a hot rich chocolate especially the ones made the old fashioned way. I just recently used Antonio Pueo’s Chocolate Tablea for this chocolate drink.

The story of Antonio Pueo Chocolates has its beginning in historical Intramuros, the old Walled City of Manila in the early part of the 20th Century. Its founder was Jose Maria Pueo, a 17 year old Spanish immigrant who arrived in the Philippines armed with the knowledge of chocolate manufacturing which he learned from his Spanish godfather, who was also a friar.

Through the 17th century until early 1900’s the Spanish religious community had built a reputation for high quality production of cooking Chocolate which they called “Tableas”. Following the very same basic production techniques and secrets learned from the good friar, but with some of his very own innovations. Jose Ma. Pueo started the first Chocolate Factory to produce Antonio Pueo Chocolates (named after his father and uncle). In post-Colonial Intramuros, Mr. Pueo quickly built a reputation for having the highest quality natural chocolate drink manufactured locally from the finest grade of “Cacao”.

“Cacao” or Chocolate, made the old-fashioned way directly from cacao beans has a deeper, darker brown color, distinct and wonderful aroma, and all the intrinsic natural taste and goodness coming from having all its cocoa butter intact. When cacao beans are processed into cocoa powder, almost all the natural cocoa butter is extracted (later to be sold as an additive in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries for use as high grade moisturizer or as an additional flavoring ingredient in some other food product). Without enough cocoa butter, the result is a chocolate drink that is tasteless, watery, and pale by comparison in both taste and color.

At Antonio Pueo chocolates, all our products are of the best quality because we use only 100% pure chocolate. Each product made at our factory carries the stamp of more than a century of high quality chocolate processing and manufacture. Because every chocolate product is ground only from organically grown Plantation cocoa beans from Davao with all the cocoa butter intact, you are assured that the real taste and aroma of naturally grown and roasted whole cacao beans will always permeate each and every taste of Antonio Chocolates. So you must try our products and experience the grandeur of the Spanish Colonial times for yourself. – Truly, Antonio Pueo Hot Chocolate is an Old World Luxury all of us can still enjoy even in this new millennium.

I made some for John and I a couple of days ago, following the instructions ‘almost’ to the letter. Almost being I wanted them more creamier so I added some Alpine milk to it at the end. Armed with a heavy sauce pan and a wire whisk, I simmered a couple of cups of water and dunked 2-3 Antonio Pueo’s tableas. As the tableas slowly melted, the smell of bitter sweet chocolate perfumed the house. After 10-15 minutes of simmering, I vigorously whisked the hot chocolate to make it froth then added the Alpine milk upon serving. After the first sip, I knew Antonio Pueo’s tableas will be a staple in my pantry. It was oh-boy-why-haven’t-I-tried-this-before good! It was rich, chocolate-y, bitter sweet and creamy. It was so creamy that it coated my mouth and tongue as if I gulped brownie batter. Super yummy. A word of caution, please restrain yourself adding sugar, as the drink reduces the taste of chocolate intensifies making it sweet and chocolate-y.

If you are accustomed to Hershey’s Hot Chocolate, the taste of hot chocolate made with Antonio Pueo’s tablea might taste a little off. Once done the old fashion way, you’ll be finding yourself wanting more and more.

Having you tried Antonio Pueo’s tableas? What chocolate do you use when making hot chocolate drink? How do you make them? What’s your drink during rainy season?

To get more information about Antonio Pueo’s tableas, click here.