Modica chocolate is from the small town of Modica, located where two rivers converge in the province of Ragusa.
The town is famous for its artistic treasures as well as for its ancient traditional confectionery.
Modica is on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2002 thanks to its historic town centre, rich in Baroque-style buildings. The town of Modica is famous worldwide for its excellent Italian chocolate.
Modica chocolate is an Italian product, famous for its taste and authenticity. It has ancient origins dating back to Sicily's Spanish domination. When the invaders introduced its production to the "County of Modica", once the largest in the Kingdom of Sicily.
Unlike what happened in the rest of the world, the chocolate made in Modica never went to industrial manufacture, thus preserving over the centuries its genuinely authentic flavour. The chocolate's quality, the ingredients and the homemade taste and feel are still the same.
Manufacturing and History
Modica chocolate is prepared using the same manufacturing methods the Aztecs used in ancient Mexico: leaving unchanged the organoleptic characteristics of cocoa.
The Aztecs roasted cocoa beans on a preheated stone called "Metate". They crushed the beans with a stone hammer. The paste could have several spices (vanilla, black pepper, cinnamon, and other traditional flavours and herbs, sometimes even exotic flowers). They then spread the concoction over the "metate" until it assumed a hard and homogeneous consistency.
The manufacturing excludes the crushing phase. The cocoa mass is obtained by baking it at 40° with caster sugar, which, due to the low temperature, only partially melts, giving the Modica chocolate its characteristic rough appearance and its granular texture.
Tastes and Characteristics
Modica chocolate is dark black with brown highlights, grainy and crumbly, with seeds of sugar. It's got a non-uniform brown colour and an intense scent of toasted cocoa.
Usually, it is flavoured with cinnamon or vanilla, but can also have notes of pepper, coffee, citrus, anise, and carob. Some producers offer mint chocolate with the addition of almonds or white pepper, pistachios, and ginger.
How To Eat It?
Modica's chocolate is always delicious, no matter which additions are in it. However, most people's favourite version is the pistachio one. How to resist the mixture of bitter cocoa and the sweetness and crunch of pistachio?
Modica chocolate is normally best if you eat it on its own, but you can try it out accompanying a hot coffee, or Italian espresso. It is also great in icecreams or in baked goods—you can buy modica chocolate online. Just google a local Italian deli or a dedicated chocolate website. Some organic shops and artisan boutique might also carry it, and deliver it straight to your door.
This famous Italian chocolate is also an ingredient in an exceptional preparation: the 'mpanatigghi. (No, we didn't invent that name). The 'mpanatigghi are edible "cookies" and their filling is with a mixture of almonds, walnuts, chocolate, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and minced beef. Typical of Modica, the combination might sound weird but is worth trying at least once.
Modica chocolate also appears to have medicinal effects. In the event of bronchitis or respiratory problems, it would be advisable to have a bar of chocolate to feel better.