molinillo: photo by gourmetsleuth.com
Mexican Molinillo The molinillo [moh-lee-NEE-yoh] is the Mexican chocolate "whisk" or "stirrer". It is made of "turned" wood and it is used to froth warm drinks such as hot chocolate, Atole, and Champurrado.
Article by: Barbara Bowman
History And Lore
This tool was actually invented by the Spaniard colonists in Mexico around the 1700's. Prior to the invention of the molinillo, chocolate was froth by pouring it from one cup to another. The first molinillos were made to fit into a container with the handle extending out of the top. The molinillo was then rotated between the users two hands placed palm-sides together. The twisting motion frothed the chocolate.
mexican molinillo (3 styles, available at Gourmetsleuth.com)
The Spanish explorers were so enamored with the flavor of chocolate that they took it back to Spain where it became the the Kings' Official Drink in the New Spain and Europe. Around the end of the XVIII century(1780 - 1800) , Europeans started preparing chocolate with milk and sugar to create what we know today as Hot Chocolate. In fact the drink became so popular many of the leading European porcelain manufactures such as Limoges in France began making specialized pots and cups just to serve chocolate.photo:
french Louis XVIII chocolate pot
The photograph above is a nice example of a chocolate pot design that dates back to Louis XVIII still made today in France by the Pillivuyt Company. The chocolate ingredients are placed in the pot. The "molinillo" (called moulinet
in France or a moussoir
which means froth-maker) is placed in the pot and then the cover is placed over the handle of the molinillo. With the cover in place, the user holds the molinillo between his two hands and with a rubbing motion froths the liquid. The pot is held from the top and side handle to pour the chocolate into cups
Mexican chocolate is distinctively sweet and most typically flavored with cinnamon and nuts. The chocolate has a grainy texture and is predominantly used for making hot chocolate. The thick disks are chopped coarse and added to hot water or milk then frothed with the molinillo.mexican chocolate, formed into a disk
From the Texas State
Libary and archives commission. "Children in Mexico often drink
chocolate with breakfast. They stir it with a special utensil called a molinillo
which is held between the palms and rotated back and forth. During the chorus of
this rhyme, children rub their palms together and pretend to "stir" the
chocolate with a molinillo." Click to hear a
real player audio of this song.
|Bate, bate, chocolate,
||Stir, stir, chocolate,
|Tu nariz de
cacahuate ||Your nose is a peanut.
|Uno, dos, tres, CHO!
||One, two, three, CHO!
|Uno, dos, tres,
CO! ||One, two, three,
|Uno, dos, tres,
LA! ||One, two, three,
|Uno, dos, tres,
TE! ||One, two, three,
|Bate, bate, chocolate!
||Stir, stir, the chocolate!
|Bate, bate, bate, bate,
||Stir, stir, stir,
|Bate, bate, CHOCOLATE!
This is from our collection of older molinillos. The older pieces tend to be more detailed than most of the newer. Some had color applied, others ivory-like details.
All images © gourmetsleuth.com
molinillo with color accents - photo by gourmetsleuth.com
molinillo with ivory accents
this molinillo has a slightly square shape.
the end of the molinillo forms a hand and a little bucket is attached with wire