Swiss? No, Aztec!
Chocolate in Modica is made according to an ancient recipe, of Aztec origins no less. If you're wondering what the Aztecs have to do with Sicily, think of the Spanish Conquistadors of South America: it will occur to you that the Spanish themselves ruled this island for a couple of centuries.
Modica chocolate, processed in the same way as the Aztecs did at the time of the Spanish Conquistadors, can technically be described as "cold chocolate" and it is grainy and crumbly.
It was the Spaniards who brought “xocoàtl” to Modica, a product that the inhabitants of Mexico made from cocoa beans crushed on a stone called “metate” to extract the cocoa butter and produce a grainy paste. The people of Modica learned this process directly from the Spanish, without industrialising the process much further.
In cold processing, the cocoa does not go through the conching stage: the cocoa mass is processed at 40 °C with the addition of caster sugar; since it cannot melt or mix, the sugar gives Modica chocolate its characteristic “rough” appearance and grainy texture.
It is traditionally flavoured with cinnamon or vanilla, but chocolate flavoured with chilli, carob, coffee or citrus fruits is also common. Modica chocolate can be eaten as it is or dissolved in water as a drink.
After all that chocolate you have enjoyed in one of the many specialist shops in downtown, you might want to redeem yourself from the sin of gluttony by visiting the sumptuous and beautiful Duomo!
In fact, Modica’s ancient origins and the vestiges collected there testify to the beauty of a site where late Baroque and a few enlightened examples of Art Nouveau predominate almost absolutely. They convey the degree of civilisation of a community that developed for centuries in what was the capital of an ancient and powerful county whose territory, in the Middle Ages, extended as far as the gates of Palermo.