Hot Chocolate, Round 2

Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.

Joanne Harris, Chocolat

 choco 2 2In my first hot chocolate testing, Don Gustavo vs. Abuelita, there was no clear-cut winner, but I did have a slight preference for Don Gustavo.

Round two included Morelia and a powdered form of Ibarra. Morelia is priced similarly to Abuelita and Don Gustavo, while the Ibarra brand is almost twice as costly.

My newest preference is – without any doubt whatsoever and proving, once again that moms everywhere are right when they say “you get what you pay for” – is Ibarra’s version. The Morelia brand proved similar in sweetness and flavor to Abuelita and Don Gustavo. The Ibarra brand proved not as sweet to my taste as the other brands, it seemed to mix more easily, and somehow it has what appear to be tiny bits of chocolate at the bottom of the cup. They don’t appear to be in the mix so perhaps nanotechnological engines drive the mix to recombine into chocolate. I exaggerate of course.

I also think I prefer the mix to the Ibarra tablets: further testing awaits.

Gabriel Hernandez, Son Cuba Concert

Sunday night the remarkable Gabriel Hernández played with his bassist and percussionist at Teatro Angela Peralta. The theater has approximately 500 seats and there were only perhaps 100 people in attendance. A dismal showing for such an accomplished jazz artist, but Hernández plays regularly in San Miguel at clubs. The group played a range of Cuban and Latin styles and Hernández displayed quite a few classical moves on the keyboard.

In the past Hernández has played with the Afro-Cuban All-stars and with musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Hargrove, James Carter, Chucho Valdez, and Tito Puente, among others.

I’ve now attended three concerts at Teatro Angela Peralta, two produced by Promuscia San Miguel, and none have been sold out, and two had rather poor attendance. Tickets for the more expensive seats seem to sell better than do less expensive seats … an anomaly to me, but perhaps indicative of the great economic disparity that exists in these times.

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