Here in the tropics where I live, the word ”˜cold’ is relative. The coldest it could probably get (in Manila) is 25°C, and that may even be pushing it already. Still, it does get cooler during this time of year, and when it’s cold and raining outside, my thoughts turn to champorado.
Champorado is glutinous rice cooked with cocoa powder and sugar. Similar to a hot porridge and certainly more palatable than oatmeal, champorado is usually drizzled with fresh milk or condensed milk and sweetened to taste. Dried salted fish called tuyo, be it freshly fried or from the bottle is a salty-good mix-in. Eaten for breakfast or as a mid-afternoon snack, it’s a food that warms my stomach and heart.
Having been reared on instant “from the pack” champorado, I was terrified when I was assigned to make champorado for 50 people from scratch. This happened in culinary school for a breakfast service. Thankfully, all went well, and I was pleased that my first attempt “out of the box” was successful. I admit however, that I still prefer the taste of packaged champorado.
Surprisingly, there aren’t many instant champorado brands. White King is the most widely available, so you can imagine how excited I was with Antonio Pueo’s latest offering. Antonio Pueo is a commercial tsokolate (tablea) manufacturer. The company has a line of interesting cocoa-based products like instant churros with chocolate dip and a complete pack of tsokolate making accoutrements. The “made with real Spanish chocolate” tag is very visible on Antonio Pueo’s champorado box. Considering that all the come-on I needed especially since this was a tablea company, I promptly snapped one up.
Making champorado requires very little brain activity: you just dump in the contents of the box, add water, and stir away. In this case, the resulting aroma of the cooking chocolate is heady ”“ more than enough to set mouths a-watering. The mixture starts out very thin and then transforms to a chowder-like texture thanks to the starch in the rice. Constant stirring and heat does a champorado well ”“ it’s important not to rush the process so that the rice can cook all the way through, and the chocolate flavor deepens.
It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas…
Antonio Pueo Double Chocolate Champorado
Available at all leading supermarkets