Modica is a lovely sunny town in the province of Ragusa. It’s well known for its natural beauty and landscape and has been declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chocolate lovers also know Modica for its renomated delicious chocolate.
The Modica chocolate is very particular because of the procedure with which it is prepared, the so-called “lavorazione a freddo” which is the cold-working and the cocoa is not subject to conching.
The origins of this particular procedure dates back to the Aztecs and was spread by the Spanish throughout their dominations. Arrived in Sicily during the Spanish domination in the 16th century, this particular procedure of chocolate-making is still used today in Modica, such a very special city.
Today the Modica chocolate is made mechanically but in the past every step was by hand. The working surface was of volcanic rock which was heated for the three procedure phases that purified the chocolate.
Curious that only in Modica this type of chocolate is still made, in fact this procedure is no longer used in America where it probably originates, nor in Spain.
For a great Modica chocolate the cocoa beans must be toasted and ground until the mixture is well assembled. The mixture is then heated to 40° C to become fluid.
The next step is the sweetening with sugar and the eventual adding of aromas and various spices. A typical Sicilian aroma is given by orange or lemon peel.
Since a few years Modica has been protagonist of a renomated event: the Eurochocolate during which it is possible to taste every sort of sweets and confectionary specialities and of course… the Modica Chocolate!
written by Evelin Costa
translated by Maria Lina Bommarito