Submarine Means Hot Chocolate in Buenos Aires, Submarino

For her Cultural Tuesday, Debora Mordowski serves Chocolate: Submerging into History (Marcus, September 28).

She starts by mentioning Theobroma which she writes "means “fruit of the gods” in Latin, and was the way Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist, christened the cacao tree".

From there Debora segues into hot chocolate, the Argentinian way , perfect for September.

In Buenos Aires, a hot chocolate goes by the name Submarino (Submarine)...

The Argentinian connection reminded me of an exchange I had with Cristina of From Buenos Aires to Paris after I wrote about French afternoon tradition, Le Gouter and she related this:

"We, in Argentina, have the same "gouter" tradition ....we call it "la hora de la leche"(milk time) because no mother would ever accept our having anything but hot milk with cocoa...followed by toasts of bread, butter AND dulce de leche (milk jam, confiture de lait) (Normal, in a country with more cows than people!)"

Rather than dwell on history, Rebecca of From Argentina with Love tells us what makes a real submarino (as she learned from her husband Guillermo) in Submarino--an Argentinean Hot Chocolate (January 2009)."It's hot milk, served with a bar of chocolate on the side.  Dark chocolate--it has to be dark chocolate!"  he insisted.  "That's the submarine!  Then you take the submarine and you sink it!  The chocolate melts, and you have hot chocolate.  That's what they're drinking.  Submarinos."

Funny how little things like a cup of hot chocolate can bring strong emotions and memories.


Not to be nitpicking on the word Theobroma but it seems that others like Dogfish Head brewery which happens to craft a Theobroma Ancient Ale offers 'food of the goods' as the true meaning.

I am sure one of you will know who has the right answer.

(* photo of Submarino above courtesy of Rebecca at From Argentina with Love)

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