By Juan Miret
Hispano de Tulsa
TULSA, Oklahoma – The cold season is here and with it arrive two ever-present items on the winter menu of Hispanics: champurrado and churros. There’s nothing better to fight the freezing temperatures in December than a freshly-made churro to dip into a cup of hot chocolate.
A popular saying states: “Make the chocolate thick and the accounts clear.” No doubt, that’s a champurrado: a very thick hot chocolate, sprinkled with cinnamon, anise and sometimes vanilla, and whose consistency arises from the addition of corn flour.
“Champurrado means Christmas and posadas. It is much more than chocolate; it is a demonstration of our roots,” said Bonifacio Hernández, a cook at the Morelos grocery store near 51st Street and Peoria Avenue, while preparing a large batch of the beverage.
“Hot chocolate is just that, hot chocolate, but champurrado is cinnamon, flour, and tradition, a lot of tradition.”
Hernández, who is originally from Puebla, Mexico, says his recipe is international. “The corn flour is from Venezuela; the sweet chocolate is from Colombia; the other type of chocolate, slightly more bitter, and the cinnamon are from Mexico; the milk, sugar and water are from here.”
Although the classic version uses brown sugar in the solid piloncillo form or granulated brown sugar and a touch of anise seed, Hernández does not use those ingredients.
“Most people like this taste more. There are people who like a bit of vanilla or strawberry.”
According to Hernández, a good champurrado should be thick. “Its consistency is what turns the chocolate into a champurrado,” he said, adding that “the flour does that, but one must be constantly stirring the mixture so it won’t stick to the bottom of the pot.”
Traditionalists use a clay pot and a wooden molinillo beater to help dissolve the chocolate and …