Lasang Pinoy 5: PINOY CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD [ Chocolate EH! Chocolate AH! ]

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My hosted-entry to Lasang Pinoy 5, originally posted at Mang Mike’s Lafang . . .

Ewan ko kung natatatandaan nyo pa ang tungkol sa chocolate eh at chocolate ah sa Noli Me Tangere. Actually, sa hinaba-haba ng nobela, yun lang yata ang detalyeng natatandaan ko.

Isa itong insulto ng mga prayle noon. Kung pupunta ka daw sa kumbento at aalokin ka ng chocolate, pakikingan mo ng mabuti ang paraan ng pag-utos ng prayle. Kapag sinabi daw na “ipaghanda mo sya ng chocolate eh” – ibig sabihin maganda ang pagtanggap nila sa iyo. Pero kapag sinabing “chocolate ah” – ay! Umalis ka na at hindi ka welcome!

Kasi ang “EH” daw means thick and rich! Pag “AH” watered and thin ang consistency ng hot chocolate mo. Chocolate EH or Chocolate AH – depende kung sino ka at kung gusto ka nila. Very discriminating di ba? Anyway, yan ay ayon kay Rizal, at dahil wala naman akong alam na kami ay galing sa mga prayle (joke!) . . . we don’t practice that!

There are only two special occasions every year that our family make sure to serve home-made hot chocolate drink. That is every Noche Buena (on Christmas Eve) and Media Noche (on New Year’s Eve).

For us, it is like a Christmas tree, a parol, an exchange gift, a nativity scene. It is like hamon or queso de bola. When it starts to boil and you can smell it . . . ah! You know it is Christmas! Up to this day, ang tablea namin ay ginagawa pa ng tatay ko, galing sa puno namin ng kakao sa Batangas — binilad, sinangag, giniling at hinulma nya mismo!

So we might have pancit, ham, pasta or salad on our table, but goodness! There will always be hot chocolate! And it ain’t just another hot chocolate, it is Chocolate EH!

A couple of months ago, my mom, sister and tita came to visit us here again in Brunei and they brought along with them some tablea my father made for us. So for our Noche Buena this year, we had this rich chocolate drink along with traditional Pinoy Christmas fare like pancit guisado, puto, lumpia and more.

The photos I took of the Chocolate EH that night didn’t look presentable enough so, off went a jar of tableas to Mang Mike’s.

Here’s how it came out . . .

Chocolate Eh

Rich Chocolate EH. The round tableas (sweetened) are from hubby Tune’s family in Batangas while the flat, oval tableas (unsweetened) are from my dad.

A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

By Joji Languido-Castillo

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