Collection of Choco-Stories

What do you love about chocolate? How has chocolate connected to your life? Inspired by the success of our chocolate series, the UIC Latino Cultural Center is collecting recipes and stories about chocolate. Does your abuelita serve her famous mole with a particular spoon? Are there any objects, traditions, recipes and/or stories around chocolate in your family? Do you remember your first encounter with chocolate?

Choco-Stories Workshop: Contribute to a community-curated exhibit — MAR. 11, 2015 AT THE LCC

  • Whenever I hear the word chocolate or see images of it I remember my abuelita in Mexico use a special type of spoon to mix the hot chocolate that she would make especially for me. Chocolate in turn made it easy for me to transition into a new setting/another country that I was visiting for the first time. – Anonymous

  • When I was little I remember certain nights when it would be hot chocolate night. It wasn’t often when we had it and it had a different meaning. We lived in Puerto Rico so we were not drinking it to keep warm. Having hot chocolate was almost like a celebration. “Chocolate Cortez,” that’s what it was called. It was a Big chocolate bar. My mom would grind it and use the powder to make the hot chocolate that would be served with bread and butter. That’s my story about chocolate.  – Ian

  • My fiancé is Mexican and she puts chocolate in Mole which I find weird yet it tastes so good. – Rafael

  • There is ALWAYS chocolate in my household. Ever since I was a kid, we should keep an endless supply of it. So one day my 1 year old nephew was sitting on the floor staring at me. Now when he gives this look, it usually means he used the bathroom, has to use the bathroom, or is in the process of doing so. When I looked closer, I saw that his hands/arms were smothered in a brown substance. I was horrified that it was going to be poop, but when I went to pick him up it was just melted chocolate. Thank goodness for deception! – Cayla

  • I remember when I was younger and would ever feel upset my mom would try her best to cheer me up. Whether it was because of a bad grade, a fight with a friend, or boy drama, she was always there. One of the things she would do to try to cheer me up was stop at the store and tell me to wait in the car. When she got back, the assortment of chocolate she brought with her was more concerning than the problems I was facing. – Anonymous

    Image of Hot Chocolate Mug
    Hot Chocolate Mug
  • My grandmother would make delicious hot chocolate or atole de elote (corn gruel) when we came to visit. She would serve our drinks in these small ceramic mugs that she only used on special occasions. She currently lives in Acatempan, Guerrero, Mexico; one of the many dangerous towns that is being ravaged by violence.  Due to the increased violence, she does not allow us to visit her. It’s been 8 years since any family member living in the U.S has visited her, including myself. It’s not the actual object that’s special but how it allows me to reminisce on simpler times when it was “easy” to visit my grandmother. – Edith

  • My life revolved around chocolate growing up. To this day my mom’s favorite dessert is chocolate – anything! From her to my grandma’s mole, which she did from scratch and added pure chocolate. I also remember dancing to songs about chocolate from different genres. – Anonymous

  • In the Potterverse, after a close encounter with a Dementor you would eat chocolate to get over the shock! Dementers are these soul-less creatures that suck the life out of you and leave you feeling cold and depressed – which is funny because whenever I eat high percentage chocolate it makes me feel happy 🙂 Life is always better with chocolate! – Mario

  • My dad works at a chocolate factory. My early childhood I would put chocolate powder (instant powder) in to my milk, cereal, & atole de arroz. He was my Mexican Willy Wonka whenever he brought boxes & boxes of chocolate instant powder & sometimes syrup. The strawberry was rare, but the chocolate smell was always in our house. He still works there and still collects boxes of chocolate to send to Mexico & to my Tios in Tennessee. My father’s life is chocolate & his stories of his work amazed me as a child. Thanks dad 🙂 – James

  • When I was younger, I grew up near a candy store. I would go get chocolate and my mom would get dark chocolate, which I never liked. Until recently, when I learned that milk chocolate, is actually less pure than dark chocolate, I stopped eating milk chocolate. – Anonymous

  • Chocolate always makes me feel happy. When someone’s had a rough day, or anything I always get them their get well soon gift but always put a little chocolate in their gift bag as well. – Danielle

  • Since I was a young girl, I always enjoyed the taste of the rich creamy chocolate – Anonymous

  • At special events, chocolate reigns the table in the form of mole. This staple makes me happy because it’s delicious and always brings families together. – Daisy

  • I love chocolate milk. It is my weakness, in fact I might have some right now. – M.

  • When I was in early elementary school, we took a tour of the Great Alaskan Chocolate factory (I’m from Alaska) and I saw my first ever huge chocolate waterfall. Then when I was in Okinawa, Japan, they have mini chocolate waterfalls at some food places where you make a desert shishkabob and coat it in the chocolate! – Levi

  • I have a warm memory about making chocolate at my grandfather’s house. He lived in Mexico City and I still remember his address! My grandfather came from Merida and at his house the chocolate was prepared in a tall wooden vase. The vase is the partner of the molinillo. So you put the milk over the chocolate and then you turn the molinillo until it got foamy on top. To me that was special because I had never seen both the tall vase and the molinillo. PS. My grandfather’s name: Leonidos Ayala Escamilla. – Anonymous

  • I remember always going to visit my grandmother and without fail she would have some “Chocolate Abuelita” ready to go. That is one of the memories that I have with my grandmother that also has to do with chocolate. Till this day I still have some “chocolate Abuelita” and i think about my grandma. – Michael

Image of Moonstruck Chocolate Box
Moonstruck Chocolate Box
  • A few years ago, my brother moved to Nicaragua to join the Peace Corps. Growing up in Chicago, we loved fall, a time when leaves fell, pumpkin soup was plentiful, and you could bust out the hot cocoa again on chilly nights. Moving to the rainforests of Central America, I knew he’d miss the sights and smells of fall. I was working at a chocolate shop/café at the time in Urbana, IL where we sold chocolate truffles. I collected a box of the best I could think to represent the nostalgia of the season: nutmeg and cloves, leaf shapes and pumpkins. He loved the chocolates, and saved that box. He also ended up falling in love with Nicaraguan-style chocolate, including their national drink, Pinolillo. Not long after the economic crash, Moonstruck Chocolate shut down their Midwest locations, and now it can only be found in Seattle. So boxes like this are probably pretty rare around here these days, and none have a story quite like ours! – Lena

  • Growing up my  mom made hot chocolate almost every night but it has to be “chocolate cortez” and i like to put crackers in my hot chocolate and have cheese on the side. – Amanee

  • My childhood was spent living next to a chocolate factory. The World’s Finest. ‘Twas an interesting childhood, smells would contaminate my room at least twice a week. Chocolate smells… mmm – Anonymous

  • Chocolate is the best thing in the world! I love chocolate! – Anonymous

  • My grandmother’s mole recipe! When I was young, I would lick chocolate off the spoon! Chocolate is very important! Traditional recipes is key! – Anonymous

  • Chocolate is Life. My mom used to make me abuelita hot chocolate when I got sick & she would take care of me. – Anonymous

  • Whenever Halloween would come around, I would go trick-or-treat with my siblings. At the end of the night, we would trade all our candies. The most valuable ones were usually the chocolate bars. – Anonymous

  • When my nephew was learning to walk he would go into the kitchen, open the fridge, and take out the chocolate syrup for chocolate milk. – Anonymous

  • I get chocolate from many friends, meaning differently, which show the friendship. Chocolate makes me happy because of it. Also, when I am tired of studying, I’ll eat it for energy and inspiration <3 – Anonymous

Submit your own Choco-Stories in the online exhibit:

Chocolate: Drink of Gods, Food of Mortals

Or find more stories from the UIC Latino Cultural Center community!