Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mast Brothers Chocolate and social revolution



Check this article about the Mast Brothers -  Artisan chocolate and social revolution by Colby Cosh 

http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/06/11/artisan-chocolate-and-social-revolution/


A snippet of the article above,

What we can safely conclude about the Mast Brothers, if we’re willing to set aside the crazy beards and the hucksterism, is:
(1) Their quality control is probably not up to the standards of an industrial-scale factory, but overall the product is probably pretty damn delicious.
(2) These guys are working their butts off. No part of their day can possibly be easy.
(3) They like what they do, and it makes them money.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Triple Crown of a Single Origin Cacao





This video is an interesting backgrounder for single origin cacao

http://videos.wisegeek.com/videos/517237137.htm

Notes about the video

In this video Ray Major of Scharffenberger is interviewed by Daily Meal Video on his explanation of single origin cacao. An interesting point he mentioned is the triple crown of a single origin, it includes

1) terroir - that has to do with geography/place and climate where cacao is cultivated

2) post harvest - the process for which cacao are dried, fermented and roasted

3) noble genetics - variety which the cacao belongs to

Single origin distinguishes the particular taste of chocolate with other chocolates with their unique taste. The unique taste of the cacao is said to be its heart and soul. Although in many cases cacao are blended with other varieties to produced the desired taste of chocolate makers, so the unique taste of a single origin become mixed with other cacao. Also, the darker the chocolate the more the unique taste of chocolate comes out.

And for that reason I am beginning to like more dark chocolates. Although, sweet tooth I am I still adore the sweetness of milk and white chocolate but now I also like them to have other flavors like tea, fruits, flowers and the like.    


Related read:

http://www.thekitchn.com/post-9-42261

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Venezuelan Criollo Chocolate at Heavenly Chocolates




I attended yesterday the Chocolate Appreciation 101: Going Nuts by Heavenly Chocolates.  It was facilitated by Mr. Benjie Pedro who jet sets Manila-Singapore and other places of the globe because of chocolate. He was instrumental in setting up chocolate businesses in Singapore and started in the Philippines a chocolate restaurant called Heavenly Chocolate in 2008. The resto will be celebrating its 4th anniversary next month (July 2012).  






Through their Chocolate Appreciation 101 they are able to promote by word of mouth or likes and shares on Facebook their chocolate business.  So we attendees were asked to help in promoting  the place especially they do not spend much on marketing and advertising.




For Mr. Pedro his falling in love with chocolate  was started by tablea style of drinking chocolate. So the resto’s  mantra: promote hot chocolate dinking. He traced back that the tradition became ingrained in the Filipino culture as cited in the novel of Rizal, Noli me Tangere when Padre Salvi would serve chocolate ah or chocolate eh to his guests.  Mr. Pedro observed that Central and South America has similar hot chocolate drinking tradition with the Philippines because of Spanish colonization then.


The chocolate appreciation was conducted on a monthly basis from 2008  that tapered down to the present.  But it is being activated again on a more regular basis as more people gets interested learning about their favorite chocolates. Also, their current location is unfamiliar to many.


Mr. Pedro during his presentation of the history of chocolates and nuts (hazel, almond and pistachio) was distributing chocolates for attendees to taste that includes – Swiss- Frey, Belgian-Cote ‘d Or, and English-Cadbury mostly milk chocolate.  Since chocolate are characterized based on their country origin. He mentioned that these chocolates were made and prepared based on the culture of those countries. Swiss is creamy and milky because of their supply of milk. The Belgian is caramellic (burnt sugar), a distinct character for Belgian chocolates. And for the English it has a crumbly nature because of the moisture content of the chocolate.

But another school of thought in characterizing chocolate is the chocolate bean source of a single origin. Distinctly, cacao are only grown in a particular region - between 20 degrees north and 20 degrees south of the equator where temperatures do not fall below 68°F. Luckily, Philippines falls in that region so we are fortunate to have supply of cacao.

There are tree main varieties of cacao beans and some newly created hybrids.

Varieties and Characteristics of Cacao Beans

Name
Region
Description
Criollo
Venezuela, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Columbia, Trinidad, Grenada and Jamaica
This bean has a slightly bitter taste with a powerful aroma and a complex but delicate flavor. The trees that produce this bean are difficult to cultivate and yield very low volume crops. This bean represents only a small percentage of the world’s cacao crop. The pods themselves are soft, red in color and contain twenty to thirty white, ivory or very pale purple beans.
Forastero
Africa, Brazil, West Indies, Central America and in an increasing number of South American countries.
This bean is the most common of the varieties, representing the vast majority of the world’s cacao crop in a given year. While it gives chocolate its body and finish, this bean lacks flavor and aroma of the other varieties and requires an intense roasting process to bring out its qualities. New crossbreeds of this bean have been developed, which are more flavorful than the original.
Trinitario
Trinidad (country of origin), Ski Lanka, South America, Central America and Indonesia
This bean is a hearty bean developed by crossbreeding the criollo and forastero trees. It boasts of an extremely high cocoa butter content and comprises less than 15% of the world’s cacao bean production in a given year.
(source - http://www.tifachocolate.com/about-chocolate/cacaoBeans.phphttp://www.tifachocolate.com/about-chocolate/cacaoBeans.php) 


So we attendees were introduced to their new line of hot chocolate drink a Venezuelan Criollo (kriyoyo). It has a pleasant fruity smell not overpowering cocoa aroma. The taste is slightly bitter and silky. In a cooler temperature, a chocolate drink thickens and resembling a melted chocolate bar or chips. If consider the new criollo chocolate drink as a pleasant addition to the numerous drinks at Heavenly chocolate and a prized drink given the demand and limited supply  for this cocoa variety. The Philippines does not produced this kind of cacao.


Also the restaurant is coming up with a new line of cake as an addition to its current list. A Pistachio Chocolate Cake, criollo cocoa and coated with pistachio paste. The taste is so pleasant. Well I am so fond of pistachio nuts, but be careful for those who are susceptible of gout, not very good when nuts is taken in large amount. So going back to the cake it is really very delicious.  The pistachio paste was just right for the cake served to us taste-test. The pistachio paste suits very well the chocolate producing a well balance decadent flavor.



We were told that unlike cream the pistachio paste has a longer shelf life. It does not need too much refrigeration, thus preserving a good moisture of the cake. Cakes become soggy when left on the ref for too long, the cream also thickens and it is like eating solid chunk of butter or margarine.

So for pinoychocophiles and pinoychocoholics, Heavenly Chocolates is a place to go when you crave for a choco fix.

Up coming - review of Belgian truffle and Green Tea Chocolate.

Related Read:

http://eatmoko.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/chocoholics/

http://www.tifachocolate.com/about-chocolate/cacaoBeans.php

http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/chocolate/flavors-2.asp

http://www.worldwidechocolate.com/shop_single_origin.html

Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/rahonpete/heavenly-chocolates/


More Fotos










the place to go for chocolate drink




Friday, June 22, 2012

Alert - chocolate truffles



Chocolate egg truffles recalled
Ninemsn
Australia's two major supermarket chains are recalling brands of chocolate eggs on the eve of the Easter long weekend. Coles is recalling five batches of Heritage brand Belgian Milk Chocolate Egg with chocolate truffles in a 270-gram package, ...
See all stories on this topic »
Heritage chocolate egg truffles recalled
The Australian
A NATIONAL recall has been issued for a brand of chocolate egg truffles. The recall is for five batches of Heritage-brand Belgian Milk Chocolate Egg with chocolate truffles in a 270-gram package, sold exclusively through Coles supermarkets.
See all stories on this topic »
Heritage chocolate egg truffles recalled from Coles supermarkets
Herald Sun
Coles recalls Heritage-brand Belgian Milk Chocolate Egg Product contains almond, hazelnut and gluten not listed Chocolate sold exclusively through Coles supermarkets A NATIONAL recall has been issued for a brand of chocolate egg truffles.
See all stories on this topic »
Eagle Creek chocolatier uses unusual ingredient in truffles she sells in ...
OregonLive.com
By Special to The Oregonian View full sizeWendy SchreiberExtracts from mushrooms used in Chinese medicine are the special ingredient in truffles from Holy Grail Chocolates, based in Eagle Creek and sold in Sandy and Estacada. Dita's Chocolates, 38915 ...
See all stories on this topic »

OregonLive.com
Coles and Woolworths recall chocolate Easter eggs
Courier Mail
TWO national recalls have been issued for two brands of chocolate eggs sold at Coles and Woolworths. A recall has been issued for a brand of chocolate egg truffles sold exclusively at Coles after a labelling error. The recall is for five batches of ...
See all stories on this topic »
Easter Faces Recall of Chocolate Egg Truffles
TopNews United States
Coles has recalled total five batches of Heritage brand Belgian Milk Chocolate Egg that have been packed with chocolate truffles in a 270-gram package and have been exclusively sold from Coles supermarkets. The company is clearing in its report that ...
See all stories on this topic »

TopNews United States
Clackamas County Roundup: Special chocolates sold in Sandy, heroin spikes in ...
OregonLive.com
Chocolate: Mushroom chocolates? It sounds weird, but mushroom extract won an Eagle Creek chocolatier awards and praise for her truffles. You can try them yourself at shops in Estacada and Sandy. Heroin: Heroin overdoses are becoming more frequent in ...
See all stories on this topic »

OregonLive.com
Chocolate Fans Sweet on Easter Shopping
DNAinfo
"It's the one day of the year you get away with having chocolate for breakfast." Mackay was one of many New Yorkers splurging on Easter sweets in the days before Easter. Their preferences varied from simple liquorice to fancy dark chocolate truffles.
See all stories on this topic »

DNAinfo
Easter eggs recalled over allergen blunder
ABC Online
The 270-gram Heritage brand Belgian milk chocolate eggs with chocolate truffles could contain traces of nuts and gluten, but there is no warning on the packaging. Anyone with a nut or gluten intolerance should not eat the chocolate eggs, which are sold ...
See all stories on this topic »

triple chocolate truffles
Quite a few people have asked for this recipe after I posted a photo the other day. Not generally a fan of the teaser post, I figured I better get on the stick. So here ...
spabettie.com/2012/04/05/triple-chocolate-truffles/
Blackberry Merlot Milk Chocolate Truffles « The Bubbly Professor
Blackberry Merlot Milk Chocolate Truffles. April 5, 2012 Leave a comment. If you know me, or are a long-time reader of this blog, you know that I am definitely ...
bubblyprofessor.com/.../blackberry-merlot-milk-chocolate-tru...


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chocolate Manufacturer, Chocolate Links






The foto above are chocolates for me to taste and review.  Royce' (2 products), Guylian Dark, Villar, Frey, and Van Houten, mostly dark and semi-sweet.  

I am sorry for having forgotten where I have found the links below. I am keeping and posting them here so I have reference in the future. If anyone finds the original source please post it in the comment section so I can acknowledge them. Salamat po, thnak you. 


The list below is not complete since they do not have brands from Asia and there are several artisan chocolate makers in the Philippines already. One Italian chocolate I recently reviewed is Villa del Conte.







Africa
Madecasse (Madagascar)
Claudio Corallo (São Tomé)
Divine Chocolate

Australia
Haigh's Chocolates
Tava (factory is currently not operational)
Casa Don Puglisi

Spain
Chocovic (now owned by Barry Callebaut)
Natra

Sweden
Malmö Chokladfabrik

Swizerland
Confiserie Berner
Felchlin

United Kingdom
Cadbury-Schweppes
Red Star
Sir Hans Sloane
Willie's Cacao 

North America

Canada
Soma Chocolatemaker

United States
Amano
Askinosie
Jacques Torres (no longer in production)
KraftLindt (not a US company)
Mars
Mast Brothers
Mindo Chocolate Maker
Nestle (technically not a US company)

Latin America/ CaribbeanAMMA (Brazil)
Chocolates Condor (Bolivia)
Chocolates Para Ti(Bolivia)
Cooperativa Naranjillo (Peru)
Cotton Tree Chocolate (Belize)
Danta Chocolate (Guatemala)
El Castillo del Cacao (Nicaragua)
El Ceibo (Bolivia)
El Rey (Venezuela)
Fenix (Argentina)
Grenada Chocolate Company (Grenada)
Hacienda Bukare (Venezuela)
Kallari (Ecuador)
Momotombo Chocolate Factory (Nicaragua)
Pacari (Ecuador)
Rain Republic Chocolate (Guatemala)
Santander (Colombia)


more links


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shawn Stevenson: How Chocolate Can Save The World

The comments and exchanges on the you tube link of Shawn's presentation are interesting and informative. Follow the link here - http://youtu.be/uV2ynZ1VcnE


 



Interesting notes from the video

 1) The Aztecs knew something special about cacao and scientific research is finding those benefit of eating chocolate. Cocoa used to be considered by Aztecs as a medicine.

2) Food is information to the body and our health it dictates what diseases and illness we will have:

You are what you eat

3) Do not just take from the environment but also invest to it, invest to local farmers market/produce, invest in indigenous culture.

4) When a line is missing - so much repercussion could happen -  EAT - FAT

The story/history of chocolate was made as a background and illustration of the beauty of eating naturally (not synthetic/artificial/denatured)  that serves as medicine aside from its sustenance. It also highlights human beings connectedness with the environment.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Barlovento Chocolates




My supercreative good friend Ros is back from her 2-year Masters in Educational Theater for Colleges and Communities at NYU. Having travelled coast to coast in the US, she brought for me chocolates from Oakland, California. She went to Oakland Grand Lake Farmer's Market and gave me for "pasalubong" Barlovento Chocalates.

Last Sunday,  we met at the house of a friend (Diane) of our common friend (Fides)  in Makati to do some  housewarming. It was fun doing some ritual house blessing and energizing with chanting and  impromptu percussion and ethnic dancing. Then we had a nice salu-salo (snacks), Diane served a liter of homemade natural juice  and the endless kwentuhan (stories and updating).

The house/condo unit for a single-nester like her is new so the energy is positive. We just hope that our housewarming effort will create and sustain more positive energy to the place as potential venue for some weekend get together.

She gave our host Diane a small box of chocolate which was Barlovento's original chocolate creation the Cheries and exchange several with what was given to me.  According to the creator of Barlovento, "Cherries: This is what started it all. Excellent dried bing cherries from Smit Ranch and fine Venezuelan chocolate. A match made in heaven." And for myself I received a Chipotle almonds in a small plastic cylinder container.




REVIEW of Cherries and Chipotle Almond


Barlovento Chocolate boasts that their chocolate product is made from the best Venezuelan cacao. Barlovento in Venezuela produces the rarest cacao that of Criollo and Trinitario.  The variety grown in the cacao plantation of Barlovento is considered to be the sweetest, most complex variety unlike the more prevalent Forastero variety that is more bitter.



So for this chocolate,  Chipotle Almond, it is an almond covered chocolate that is chili flavored. The aroma of the cacao is sweet since the outer coating is covered with cocoa dust. The main coating is the chili flavored chocolate that is silky. The chili taste is a bit strong with saltiness when nibbling it.  When eaten together the unroasted nutty taste of almond complements well with the chili flavor chocolate that freshens up the mouth.  My score, a prized Criolo it is,  I gave it a 7/10.



And for the chocolate covered cherry, it has sweet cocoa aroma, the chocolate is sweet that have a bitter hint but the  texture is silky. I made two ways of tasting it, clearing the cherry with its chocolate cover and then eating it as is. Eating it as is, the sour taste of cherry is less pronounced as it mixes with the silkiness of the cocoa so it is like leaving the mouth free of any single taste dominant taste of cacao or the cherry. For the cherries I rate it 7/10 as well.

Thanks to Ros for these  Barlovento chocolates. Also, I take this opportunity to invite those who are planning to visit Camiguin to check my friend Ros place,  the Enigmata Treehouse Ecolodge - link here
http://hotels.lonelyplanet.com/philippines/camiguin-r1974204/enigmata-treehouse-ecolodge-q2360585/

Daghang Salamat Ros...

Related Read:

http://www.barloventochocolates.com/barlovento.html
http://pinterest.com/rahonpete/barlovento-chocolates/



Monday, June 11, 2012

Curio Chocolat: Caption for this photo


by Cosimo Cavallaro
Source - http://bit.ly/OArHso


In a phone interview, Mr. Sosinski, who grew up in a Catholic family in Bucks County in Pennsylvania, and was an altar boy, acknowledged: “I love chocolate. I am a chocolate fiend. Any chocolate.” He added, “Chocolate is something that really excites kids and many people. Chocolate is extremely desirable. I don’t see anything negative attached to the concept.”

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The transformation of cacao into chocolate

LEARN NC Multimedia: The transformation of cacao into chocolate

photo source -http://www.learnnc.org/lp/media/uploads/2009/04/p7080628r.jpg


Interesting article - Click the link http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/cacao/

The transformation of cacao into chocolate



This is a nice slide show about cacao's transformation into our favorite chocolate. 


Transforming cacao into chocolate is a labor-intensive process that involves many steps. This slideshow tells the story of that process, focusing on one cacao plantation in the Barlovento region of Venezuela.




Saturday, June 9, 2012

Jose Rizal and chocolate in Noli Me Tangere






One of the two greatest novels written by Jose Rizal is Noli me Tangere (Touch Me Not).  It is a required reading in high school. In my school we were made to do a summary for each chapter. Back then I was not able to fully grasp the novel's meaning and significance. Only lately did I found out  that chocolate drink was also talked about in the novel. I took the liberty to post here the whole chapter that mentions about chocolate. 


The significance of the novel for most Filipinos was its power of awakening by exposing the social cancer wrought by corrupt officials particularly the powerful clergy during the Spanish colonization. The novel helped galvanized Filipinos desire to be freed from Spanish rule that eventually led to a revolution by Andres Bonifacio. 


It should be noted that in the novel a lot of scenes depicted dining and social gatherings. A historical account that even then illustrates Filipinos fondness for drinking and dining. During the time of Rizal in Europe chocolate drink is already a popular drink even served in salons, not only confined to the nobility. But when it is served by a priest  in a colonial society it can denote politics. It is favor when served as chocolate eh (eh-espreso or thick chocolate) and disfavor once served as chocolate ah (ah- aguado or watered chocolate). 


I find it interesting and very  perceptive on Rizal's account of serving chocolate drink during his time. And in relation to this chapter titled Rulers of San Diego,drinking chocolate connotes power. The powerful like the Cura/Priest has monopoly of chocolate but what is dispense to his  visitors depends on his affinity to them. 


Now I have an inkling why Machiavelli got his name for a chocolate.







Chapter XI

The Rulers

Divide and rule.

(The New Machiavelli.)



Who were the caciques of the town?


Don Rafael, when alive, even though he was the richest, owned more land, and was the patron of nearly everybody, had not been one of them. As he was modest and depreciated the value of his own deeds, no faction in his favor had ever been formed in the town, and we have already seen how the people all rose up against him when they saw him hesitate upon being attacked.


Could it be Capitan Tiago? True it was that when he went there he was received with an orchestra by his debtors, who banqueted him and heaped gifts upon him. The finest fruits burdened his table and a quarter of deer or wild boar was his share of the hunt. If he found the horse of a debtor beautiful, half an hour afterwards it was in his stable. All this was true, but they laughed at him behind his back and in secret called him “Sacristan Tiago.”


Perhaps it was the gobernadorcillo? No, for he was [77]only an unhappy mortal who commanded not, but obeyed; who ordered not, but was ordered; who drove not, but was driven. Nevertheless, he had to answer to the alcalde for having commanded, ordered, and driven, just as if he were the originator of everything. Yet be it said to his credit that he had never presumed upon or usurped such honors, which had cost him five thousand pesos and many humiliations. But considering the income it brought him, it was cheap.


Well then, might it be God? Ah, the good God disturbed neither the consciences nor the sleep of the inhabitants. At least, He did not make them tremble, and if by chance He might have been mentioned in a sermon, surely they would have sighed longingly, “Oh, that only there were a God!” To the good Lord they paid little attention, as the saints gave them enough to do. For those poor folk God had come to be like those unfortunate monarchs who are surrounded by courtiers to whom alone the people render homage.


San Diego was a kind of Rome: not the Rome of the time when the cunning Romulus laid out its walls with a plow, nor of the later time when, bathed in its own and others’ blood, it dictated laws to the world—no, it was a Rome of our own times with the difference that in place of marble monuments and colosseums it had its monuments of sawali and its cockpit of nipa. The curate was the Pope in the Vatican; the alferez of the Civil Guard, the King of Italy on the Quirinal: all, it must be understood, on a scale of nipa and bamboo. Here, as there, continual quarreling went on, since each wished to be the master [78]and considered the other an intruder. Let us examine the characteristics of each.


Fray Bernardo Salvi was that silent young Franciscan of whom we have spoken before. In his habits and manners he was quite different from his brethren and even from his predecessor, the violent Padre Damaso. He was thin and sickly, habitually pensive, strict in the fulfilment of his religious duties, and careful of his good name. In a month after his arrival nearly every one in the town had joined the Venerable Tertiary Order, to the great distress of its rival, the Society of the Holy Rosary. His soul leaped with joy to see about each neck four or five scapularies and around each waist a knotted girdle, and to behold the procession of corpses and ghosts in guingón habits. The senior sacristan made a small fortune selling—or giving away as alms, we should say—all things necessary for the salvation of the soul and the warfare against the devil, as it is well known that this spirit, which formerly had the temerity to contradict God himself face to face and to doubt His words, as is related in the holy book of Job, who carried our Lord Christ through the air as afterwards in the Dark Ages he carried the ghosts, and continues, according to report, to carry the aswang of the Philippines, now seems to have become so shamefaced that he cannot endure the sight of a piece of painted cloth and that he fears the knots on a cord. But all this proves nothing more than that there is progress on this side also and that the devil is backward, or at least a conservative, as are all who dwell in darkness. 


Otherwise, we must attribute to him the weakness of a fifteen-year-old girl.


As we have said, Fray Salvi was very assiduous in the fulfilment of his duties, too assiduous, the alferez thought. While he was preaching—he was very fond of preaching—the doors of the church were closed, wherein he was like Nero, who allowed no one to leave the theater while he was singing. But the former did it for the salvation and the latter for the corruption of souls. Fray Salvi [79]rarely resorted to blows, but was accustomed to punish every shortcoming of his subordinates with fines. In this respect he was very different from Padre Damaso, who had been accustomed to settle everything with his fists or a cane, administering such chastisement with the greatest good-will. For this, however, he should not be judged too harshly, as he was firm in the belief that the Indian could be managed only by beating him, just as was affirmed by a friar who knew enough to write books, and Padre Damaso never disputed anything that he saw in print, a credulity of which many might have reason to complain. Although Fray Salvi made little use of violence, yet, as an old wiseacre of the town said, what he lacked in quantity he made up in quality. But this should not be counted against him, for the fasts and abstinences thinned his blood and unstrung his nerves and, as the people said, the wind got into his head. Thus it came about that it was not possible to learn from the condition of the sacristans’ backs whether the curate was fasting or feasting.


The only rival of this spiritual power, with tendencies toward the temporal, was, as we have said, the alferez: the only one, since the women told how the devil himself would flee from the curate, because, having one day dared to tempt him, he was caught, tied to a bedpost, soundly whipped with a rope, and set at liberty only after nine days. As a consequence, any one who after this would still be the enemy of such a man, deserved to fall into worse repute than even the weak and unwary devils.


But the alferez deserved his fate. His wife was an old Filipina of abundant rouge and paint, known as Doña Consolacion—although her husband and some others called her by quite another name. The alferez revenged his conjugal misfortunes on his own person by getting so drunk that he made a tank of himself, or by ordering his soldiers to drill in the sun while he remained in the shade, or, more frequently, by beating up his consort, who, if she was not a lamb of God to take away one’s [80]sins, at least served to lay up for her spouse many torments in Purgatory—if perchance he should get there, a matter of doubt to the devout women. As if for the fun of it, these two used to beat each other up beautifully, giving free shows to the neighborhood with vocal and instrumental accompaniments, four-handed, soft, loud, with pedal and all.


Whenever these scandals reached the ears of Padre Salvi, he would smile, cross himself, and recite a paternoster. They called him a grafter, a hypocrite, a Carlist, and a miser: he merely smiled and recited more prayers. The alferez had a little anecdote which he always related to the occasional Spaniards who visited him:


“Are you going over to the convent to visit the sanctimonious rascal there, the little curate? Yes! Well, if he offers you chocolate which I doubt—but if he offers it remember this: if he calls to the servant and says, ‘Juan, make a cup of chocolate, eh!’ then stay without fear; but if he calls out, ‘Juan, make a cup of chocolate, ah!’ then take your hat and leave on a run.”


“What!” the startled visitor would ask, “does he poison people? Carambas!”


“No, man, not at all!”


“What then?”


“‘Chocolate, eh!’ means thick and rich, while ‘chocolate, ah!’ means watered and thin.”


But we are of the opinion that this was a slander on the part of the alferez, since the same story is told of many curates. At least, it may be a thing peculiar to the Order.


To make trouble for the curate, the soldier, at the instigation of his wife, would prohibit any one from walking abroad after nine o’clock at night. Doña Consolacion would then claim that she had seen the curate, disguised in a piña camisa and salakot, walking about late. Fray Salvi would take his revenge in a holy manner. Upon seeing the alferez enter the church he would innocently order the sacristan to close all the doors, and would then go [81]up into the pulpit and preach until the very saints closed their eyes and even the wooden dove above his head, the image of the Holy Ghost, murmured for mercy. But the alferez, like all the unregenerate, did not change his ways for this; he would go away cursing, and as soon as he was able to catch a sacristan, or one of the curate’s servants, he would arrest him, give him a beating, and make him scrub the floor of the barracks and that of his own house, which at such times was put in a decent condition. 


On going to pay the fine imposed by the curate for his absence, the sacristan would explain the cause. Fray Salvi would listen in silence, take the money, and at once turn out his goats and sheep so that they might graze in the alferez’s garden, while he himself looked up a new text for another longer and more edifying sermon. But these were only little pleasantries, and if the two chanced to meet they would shake hands and converse politely.


When her husband was sleeping off the wine he had drunk, or was snoring through the siesta, and she could not quarrel with him, Doña Consolacion, in a blue flannel camisa, with a big cigar in her mouth, would take her stand at the window. She could not endure the young people, so from there she would scrutinize and mock the passing girls, who, being afraid of her, would hurry by in confusion, holding their breath the while, and not daring to raise their eyes. One great virtue Doña Consolation possessed, and this was that she had evidently never looked in a mirror.


These were the rulers of the town of San Diego. 


- - -

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