Forget everything you know about cocoa; Herseys, Nestles, etc. Most people don't realize that some of the world's best chocolate (Belgian especially) is made with Venezuelan cocoa.
A real treat is to find raw cocoa from a grower. They'll sell it to you in lumps. During Semana Santa we were travelling through the Barlovento region, known for its cocoa production, when we stopped at a roadside stand to buy some plantains and casava. I saw the little lumps of cocoa dangling there in a cheap plastic bag. I told my wife I wanted some. She said no at first because I'll forget I got it and it'll go bad. I insisted, especially when I heard the price...Bs. 3000 for 3 lumps. That's only $0.75. "Dame dos bolsas." (Give me two bags.) I said. My wife just rolled her eyes when the man handed her the bags of cocoa.
I need to post some pics on how to make the cocoa into hot chocolate. Its very simple...and very tasty!
1. Milk...2 cups in a pan at low heat.
2. Cocoa...1 lump crumbled fine into the milk.
3. Sugar...add about 3 tablespoons to the milk (more if you want it sweeter)
4. Salt...just a pinch added to the milk.
5. Mixer...get out the electric mixer and stir in the cocoa, sugar, and salt into the milk. Try to get the milk frothy. Sometimes I'll pour the milk mixture into the blender to get it real frothy.
6. Taste...add more sugar if needed.
7. Enjoy! Nothing like it!