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chocolate densa (italian hot chocolate)

  • k

In italy they have hot chocolate (densa) that is like syrup its so thick. Ive never seen it in any italian restaurants in NY though, most likely because it comes from northern italy, mostly around ski towns. There is a company that makes it though that you can buy in stores and I think it's called "cicobar". Is anyone else familiar with this drink and possibly knows where it can be bought in manhattan. thanks

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  1. e
    Erica Marcus

    I don't know if this is the mix you mean, but I love this stuff:

    http://www.lafenice.com/ciok.html

    1. they sell it at the italian store in chelsea market. I tried it once and couldn't get it to the right consistency, any tips?

      14 Replies
      1. re: sharon

        where is the italian store at chealsea market? I'll buy some and then ask my friend in Italy how to make it. He'll know for sure.

        1. re: kidhendry

          I think I might have misunderstood your first question. I thought you were looking for a cafe in New York that serves this wonderful, densa cioccolata calda. That's something I've been looking for here in NYC ever since the first time I drank this hot chocolate in Italy.

          Now, after re-reading, I'm wondering if you're looking for a place to purchase the Cameo Ciobar mix? I've only seen it for sale in the supermercati in Italy and that's where I bought mine.

          Or are you saying that when you follow the instructions on the Ciobar package, it doesn't come out to the consistency you prefer? Maybe you just need help translating the instructions which are printed on the package in Italian. I'd be happy to help you translate.

          Anyway, whatever the original question was - I do know one thing: all of this talk about it is giving me a very big craving for this wonderful stuff!!!!

          Also, Ciobar is OK but nothing like what you get in the bars in Italy. I'm wondering if the "Fenice" that's mentioned in a previous post is better than Ciobar. It sure sounds good!

          1. re: Ann McL

            I've never had the ciobar mix before, but I'm only assuming that the likelyhood of buying the mix in NY is greater than finding a cafe that would serve there own. Regardless I don't doubt for a second that anything someone made from scratch in a restaurant would be better than the mix, but I would be willing to try the mix if I could get it. You're right though, maybe we should stop talking about this because we'll just get depressed when we go to order a hot chocolate and someone asks us if we want marshmallows or whipped cream. It's remarkable how some food cultures are able to come to NY, yet it is so hard for Italian food culture to truely find it's way here.

            1. re: kidhendry
              c
              Caitlin Wheeler

              There is a recipe in the Joy of Cooking for Italian hot Cocoa -- It takes 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa, 1/3 c. sugar, 1 tsp. cornstarch, 1 c. water stirred in 1/2 c. at a time, and 1 c. milk. Cook over low- medium low heat until it is the consistency you want. I'm sure playing around with this may yield a good Italian cocoa.

              1. re: Caitlin Wheeler

                The recipe from Joy of Cooking sounds very much like my cousin in Italy's recipe. I'm thinking that if you use that recipe and some really great quality cocoa you'd probably get a terrific hot chocolate! (I hope, I hope!)

                1. re: Caitlin Wheeler

                  thanks for the recipe, I'll try it next week when I go to my parents for christmas vacation, can't wait...

                2. re: kidhendry
                  c
                  Caitlin Wheeler

                  There is a recipe in the Joy of Cooking for Italian hot Cocoa -- It takes 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa, 1/3 c. sugar, 1 tsp. cornstarch, 1 c. water stirred in 1/2 c. at a time, and 1 c. milk. Cook over low- medium low heat until it is the consistency you want. I'm sure playing around with this may yield a good Italian cocoa.

                3. re: Ann McL

                  Greetings, Italian Hot Chocolate Lovers. I too discovered the superb quality of Ciobar - the brand name of the thick instant hot chocolate found in Italian bars and groceries. The food corporation which distributes it goes by the name of "Cameo" but doesn't seem to have a website.
                  The flavor of the drink is excellent and not at all sickening sweet as in this country which overloads on sugar. I plan to try to reproduce the product for my own use having studied the ingredients on the label.
                  The thickening agent (same as in choc. pudding) is corn starch which is combined with our hot cocoa recipes in the proportions which please our taste. Why not try experimenting too? Another thought is that the Italian Consulate might be able to get us a business address in Italy.
                  What a wonderful surprise to find others who have had a similar experience and drive!

                  1. re: Doris

                    Ciobar is great--I just bought 25 packets on ebay. If you figure out your own version, I would looooove the recipe. Living in Alaska, importing it is getting expensive.
                    Thanks!
                    --Ellie

                    1. re: Doris

                      My son went to Italy last year and brought back several packages of this hot chocolate. It is fantastic!! I am not a coffee drinker, and really dislike the taste of the american hot chocolates made with water. He works for Starbucks and played around with the hot chocolate mix at home, adding just a little expresso or coffee to change the taste a little.
                      It is truly a treat. I am going to try a couple of the Italian stores here in my city to see if they carry it. Enjoy, hope your experiment works out well for you!!

                    2. re: Ann McL

                      Hi,

                      I too fell in love with Ciobar. I'm from Canada (Montreal) and I've been searching hi and low for a place to buy this delicious hot chocolat. If anyone ever finds a web site that sells this stuff let me know.

                      Thanks
                      Sharon

                      1. re: Ann McL

                        First of all, I'm Italian so I know what I'm talking about. Ciobar is one of the best, and the consistency depends on the cooking time. Boil the mixture and then lower the fire and cook for ten minutes. Be careful to prevent the Ciobar to stick to the bottom of your pot, to do that uses a ladle. Do it and you will have your dense chocolate.

                        1. re: Ann McL

                          You can find in Ebay for $5.

                        2. re: kidhendry

                          Here's also a Web site that sells it. But you have to pay in European currency, apparently.

                          http://www.spesatua.it/prodotto.php3?...

                      2. Is it anything like Angelina? Because I would love to find something like that but less expensive! I don't mind mail order, as that is how I have to buy Angelina, too.

                        1. I know exactly what you mean - I've had this wonderful hot chocolate at bars in Italy and it is so thick, rich, dark and delicious, almost like a pudding.

                          The packaged product you mention is actually called "Ciobar" and it's by a company called Cameo - I have a box of it in front of me as I type this! Although it's very good, my cousin in Italy doesn't like it very much and prefers to make her own by mixing: cocoa, sugar, cornstarch and milk. I don't have the exact proportions that she uses.

                          Unfortunately, I've never found a place in New York that makes hot chocolate this wonderful, dark, dense and rich way! Darn!

                          If anyone out there knows of a place in New York that serves this type of hot chocolate, I'd love to know about it!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: AnnMcl

                            Eataly in NYC!!! Just like the bars in Italy

                          2. fyi--they are giving it away free to customers at the big abc store in union square. boy is it ever good!