The chocolate in Modica is made with a very old recipe, none other than from the Aztecs. If you are wondering what the Aztecs have to do with Sicily, think about the Spanish conquistadors in South America and you will see that the same Spanish have dominated this island for a couple of centuries.
The chocolate of Modica, processed in the same way the Aztecs did at the time of the Spanish conquistadors, technically can be defined as “cold” chocolate and it is grainy and crumbly.
It was precisely the Spanish who brought to Modica the “xocóatl”, a product that the people of Mexico obtained from cocoa beans crushed on a stone called “metate”, so as to release the cocoa butter and obtain a grainy paste.
The people of Modica picked up this process from the Spanish, without passing to the industrial stage. In cold processing, the cocoa does not pass through the phase of conching: the cocoa paste is processed at 40° with added granulated sugar; failing to melt or blend, the sugar gives the chocolate of Modica the characteristic “rough” appearance of the grainy texture.
The chocolate bar of Modica has a brown colour which is not consistent. The aroma is that of roasted cocoa beans, with a slight trace of astringency. It is traditionally flavoured with cinnamon or vanilla. However you can just as easily find chocolate with chilli, carob, coffee, citrus fruits.