Put the Cocoa in the Chili Pot and eat it all up

A long time ago, someone told me to add cocoa powder to chili. This seemed pretty nuts, so I Did not try it for awhile.  Should have done it sooner” cocoa adds an extra dimension to chili. It doesn’t take much: think a tablespoon in half a gallon, adjusted for taste of course. But, after trying chilis in dark, chocolate, I was convinced. If you have not tried chocolate this way, you should because it is the best way to eat chocolate.

 

It ought to be tried for several reasons:

  • For flavor: Cocoa powder, because of how it is made, adds a slow-simmered flavor to your chili. It is made by fermenting, drying, and roasting pods from the cacao plant. First, the pods are ground into a pure chocolate liquor and pressed to remove most of the cocoa butter, leaving behind unsweetened cocoa powder. This adds a texture to the tastes that does not over-power but cannot be ignored.
  • For color: Cocoa Powder’s rich, brown color, mixes with the fats in the pot, giving it the surface aan oily sheen of dark chocolate and deepens the red color of the chilies and tomatoes resulting in an overall burgundy color. This all mimics a longer cooking time without the inherent issues of long cooking times.
  • For health: The fruit of the cacao plant is full of antioxidants. Next.  This is true, but n o one eats real chili for the health benefits..
  • For a secret ingredient:Everyone uses beer, so it’s not much of a secret. I used to routinely use coffee and still do, but using it is kind of tricky and if done wrong can really unbalance the tastes in the chili… Use a lot of cocao and the chili will make fans of all your chocoholic friends and family (ok, most of them are in this cateogry). A little—which is what I like—will adjust the taste and leave everyone guessing and coming back for more.
  • For tenderizing: Natural cocoa helps tenderize the meat in your chili. because it is an acid. But be careful, because the. Dutch-processed cocoa powder has alkali added to make it a neutral substance.  Plus, I don’t think it “feels” just right.

picture is from http://foodie-isms.com/?tag=cocoa-powder

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