" Travelers have been drawn to Sicily intriguing history,volcanoes & famed cuisine, but somehow the island’s distinctive chocolate - made in the Unesco World Heritage town of Modica and inspired by traditions of the ancient Aztecs - has remained one of the world best-kept secrets. " This is what Lucinda Hawksley says in BBC.com website talking about Cioccolata di Modica (ciucculatta muricana in Sicilian).
This recipe is inspired by the Aztec original recipe for Xocoatl. It was introduced in the County of Modica by the Spaniards, during their domination in the southern Italy in 16th Century. Conquistadors went to Mexico and brought back cacao and the recipes of this paste ground by a smooth round stone called a metate, crafted with volcanic stone from Mt. Etna (Volcano, 78 miles away from Modica).
Credits: Martin Haake
All families and Chocolate shops still preserve the tradition. Chocolate is cold-worked at 104F (40°C), so sugar crystals do not melt giving to it an unusual and peculiar grainy-pasty texture.
Sicilians are very proud to say that it is made of just three ingredients: chocolate, sugar and solid spices. Without additives, emulsifiers or any other ingredient and a cocoa percentage equal to 65% or higher.
This specific cold recipe allows chocolate to preserve its organoleptic properties and an ancient and authentic aroma.
Modica Chocolate is definitely something that you have to taste once in your life.
Now you know that you have the chance to taste an authentic flavor that hits you straight in the 16th Century. So close your eyes, put the chocolate square in your mouth and focus on your sensations. You will feel a grainy texture and a bitter aroma. Then you will munch your chocolate cube and the sweet and the spices will tickle your taste buds! Believe me, you will be able to travel back in time thanks to the cocoa and to take a trip in Sicily through its spices. Well, now depends on you! You can choose to visit Trapani's salt-pans tasting the Sea Salt chocolate or the sunny Sicilian citrus groves tasting the Orange Blood or Mandarin ones. Do you want to spice up your day with something aphrodisiac? There is also the Chili Pepper one.