Whatchamacallit 151: molinillo


Back in December 2018, I spent a week in Bogota, arriving on December 24th, departing on December 31st.

It was an extraordinarily nice, low key, vacation – including a graffiti tour on Christmas Day, a food tour, a post-conflict tour, and a trip out to view the countryside.

Really, it was generally fantastic.

The post-conflict tour started with hot chocolate, which is where I met the molinillo and olleta – pictured here is the molinillo, a wooden stick that you use to stir the milk when making hot chocolate in the olleta, which is a jug specifically for making hot chocolate.

This is one of three molinillos that I returned from Bogota with; the other wooden one has been used. I also bought an olleta, but the one I bought ended up being too small: I should have gone a size up, so I bought a second olleta via Amazon, which is bigger, but not nearly as nice.

Basically, you put the olleta on the stove, fill it with milk (or water), turn on the heat, add your bar of chocolate, then put the molinillo in the olleta, spinning the molinillo using the palms of your hand in a rubbing motion: this stirs the milk and chocolate together.

If you’re using unsweetened chocolate, you also have to add sugar.

Traditionally, Colombians also add cheese to the hot chocolate – outside Colombia, the recommendation is to use Mozzarella – I was not a huge fan of the cheese element, but if I were making it authentically, I would include the cheese.

This is a wonderful drink on a cold winter’s evening – one that I enthusiastically recommend.

During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

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