Modican chocolate is unique. Raw and granular, it has a unique consistency that is only fully appreciated as you start to eat it. Thanks to its origins Modican chocolate is a rather sought-after product, which lends itself to many uses and is appreciated by an increasingly large audience. Tasting a piece means taking a journey into the history of chocolate: voluptuous, but not buttery, elegant but not refined, dark but crisp.
Modican chocolate: an ancient history
Modican chocolate is grainy, has a distinctive flavour and consistency and owes its particular crunchiness to traditional cold processing. Tracing its origins is not easy; the city of Modica has always been a melting pot of cultures that have alternated over the centuries, however we know for a fact that its processing dates back to the times of the Aztec Empire.
The Spanish taught Sicilians how to grind cocoa beans in a stone mill in order to squeeze cocoa butter and obtain a granular paste, cane sugar and spices were then added at a temperature kept just below 40°C. The simplicity of processing and the total absence of other substances, such as vegetable fats and lecithin, make this product unique and exquisite.
Just as its recipe, so too the typical shape of Modican chocolate has been the same for hundreds of years: rectangular and flared, with three grooves on the surface. It can be eaten in pieces, melted and drunk as a hot chocolate, or used in semifreddo preparations. Try shaving it in flakes on savoury cheese: trust us, you won’t regret it!
Lacy streets of Modica
Modican chocolate is closely linked to the city of Ragusa, a theatre in a fascinating natural pink stone. Modica streets recall an old and fashionable lace handmade by grandmothers with a secret and intimate soul. The beautiful village dominates deep canyons, better known as grotte (caves) where about 700 caves that were once inhabited have been counted. These days many houses in the historic centre are the extension of those ancient caves.
The best way to discover Modica is to get lost in the maze of lanes dominated by wrought iron terraces decorated with colourful flowers. The counts of Moscow, Chiaramonte, Chiabrera and Henriquez decided to enhance the city by building several Sicilian baroque churches which characterize the city. These buildings do not overlook the squares, but stand on high stairways modelled on the slopes of the hills and are decorated with rich limestone ornaments illuminated by the blinding light of Sicily.
In addition to chocolate manufacturing, the Modican artisan tradition is also quite remarkable: embroideries, wrought iron works, precious carpentry workshops and stonemasons have all contributed to make the city an architectural jewel.
You can find Modican chocolate in our Sicily Dessert food box, and all you need is just a bite to fall in love.