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Table Suggestions: Nana Meng’s Tsokolate

By Stitch on 7 September, 2007

Table Conversation: Nana Meng Tsokolate Filipino
Tsokolate Goodness

Remember those days when your grandmother would cook up a batch of fresh tsokolate from those little tablets and serve them steaming hot from her chocolatera? How she’d twirl the batirol until she got the right consistency of chocolate and milk to get that perfect, nutty cup?

I don’t.

I grew up on Hershey’s powdered chocolate drink and powdered milk. I still remember that what I loved most about the drink was actually the can, which was yellow and had a painting of a kid licking his lips, though in those days I thought his tongue was a piece of candy. That, and the fact that eating the raw stuff with powdered milk, chilled in the fridge, cemented my memories for the thing pretty much forever. That was my first culinary creation. Let’s just say I’ve gotten better since then.

Nana Meng’s Tsokolate
is an attempt to make what is a very involving process, that of making tsokolate, a little easier by turning the cacao tablets, or tablea, into a paste, complete with nuts. It’s successful, but sadly, not if you follow the directions.
I got the product and, forthwith, followed the directions to the letter, even to the point of using bakers measurements to ensure the accuracy of the portions. The result was extremely watered down and barely had any flavor of chocolate. However, I was impressed with the paste, since it smelled divine and promised great things if handled right. So, being by nature insubordinate, I decided to experiment.

I suspected that the recipe on the bottle had too much water so I treated the product in two ways: one by reducing the water proportion while increasing the milk, the other by substituting milk entirely.

The version I had the best results in was the one with water and milk, since the paste apparently doesn’t dissolve very well in pure milk. Don’t bother trying, it just tastes, well, milky. So, to get what I think is a better experience, use this per cup:
  • One tablespoon of the paste
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of milk (pure or full-cream evaporated)
  • sugar to taste.

Dissolve the paste in the boiling water, then add the milk while stirring. Add sugar to taste. The less water, the less watery it tastes, obviously. So, lessen the proportions if you’re still not happy, but make sure you have enough to dissolve the paste.

Using this, I got a very satisfactory drink, with the right notes of traditional Filipino Chocolate and peanuts.

That said, it’s still quite a bit of work, since you have to do it over a stove. But, if getting a Filipino chocolate fix is what you’re after, this does the job pretty well.

Oh, and I tried mixing it with powdered milk and sticking it in the fridge. Bad idea. Get some Milo instead and stick that in the fridge. Works for me.

Nana Meng Tsokolate
3rd level

Glorietta IV
(Near Food Choices)

Market!Market!
Activity Center

(Near National Book Store)

Salcedo Saturaday Market
(Facing Leviste Street)

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  • SEPTEMBER 8, 2007 10:24 PM

    Gina said...

    My father loved making his own tsokolate. But since he passed, I have not had the time nor skill to make it myself. That's why when I discovered Nana Meng's, I feel in loved with it. Great memories.

  • SEPTEMBER 9, 2007 3:08 AM

    margauxlicious said...

    Thank you Stitch for picking up Nana Meng Tsokolate. :) It was a fun read about your experience. Sorry to hear though that your first experience was quite a disaster. You're not the first and certainly that's not the worst story I've heard: a guy I know, department head at Nestle no less, boiled water, TRANSFERRED the boiling water into a cup, and THEN added in the tsokolate and mixed it with a teaspoon. Lol. I guess you can picture what results he got. I kind of had to shake him when he complained and spell out, "It's.Not.Milo!" Lol. Others have had better to best results - I hope they weren't just saying that. The recipe on the bottle is exactly the recipe used in the shop, if you've tried that. Sometimes it's just patience in the mixing though, which is why the batidor and tsokolatera come in handy - or if you're without, a whisk and a blender. Here's a secret though - my personal preference of proportions when I make it for myself is 2 c water, 1/3 c evap, 3 1/2 tbsp tsokolate, 2 tbsp sugar. I like my drink richer and less sweet. The other thing to note is to make sure that the water (or milk if you're using milk alone) is boiling before you add in the tsokolate, otherwise it will take longer for the tsokolate to melt. You'll know it's not working when the color doesn't change from white to a dark tan. If that's the case, check the heat and just keep mixing. That's also the reason why a batidor is used - to help break the paste (or tablea, if you're using the tsokolate concoction without peanuts), and later to help make it froth. Do I sound obsessed? Sorry if I do, tsokolate's one of the few things that truly excite me. And yes I guess I am quite obsessed.

    Gina, I'm so happy you love Nana Meng Tsokolate. One of the great things about this product is how it evokes memories of everyone's nanas. I love standing in the shop every now and then just to hear these stories - but I've since been discouraged to stand in the kiosk and sell the tsokolate myself because I end up talking too much and giving the wrong change! One time, consumed by the beautiful conversaton with a customer over tsokolate, I couldn't quite do the math for her change, she gave me a sorry look, laughed, and said, "Darling, leave that to the professionals." I've taken her advice since!

  • SEPTEMBER 13, 2007 9:22 AM

    Stich said...

    Thanks for the comments! And thanks for the recipe, Margaulicious! I'm a bit of a chocolate nut myself and I actually am working on something on Philippine Chocolate. I think we have a hidden gem in our very neglected cacao industry.

    Hope I can ask more info from you later on!

  • OCTOBER 24, 2008 12:40 PM

    star said...

    You can also try Tsoko.nut batirol,,they also serve hot tsokolate and foods that are truly Pinoy and affordable,,:)

    They have branches in:
    SM-Makati; Dela Rosa Carpark1, RCBC Plaza- Ayala and Eastwood Excelsior


    visit their website: tsoko.nut

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