There is a new warm chocolate confection making its way onto restaurant menus and grocery shelves across New York, and it’s worth tossing out the packages of thin and chalky hot cocoa to try it. It’s called Dolce Vite Chocolatto, and it was inspired by luxurious Italian hot chocolate.
A mix between your usual hot cocoa and a warmed chocolate pudding, Dolce Vite Chocolatto is heaven for any chocolate lover and a welcome change to the usual wintry drink roster. The drink also has an out-of-the-box marketing campaign, which includes a music video and a man dressed like a shirtless spoon to hand out samples in Brooklyn Bridge Park. We caught up with proprietor Christina Summers to learn more about the company.
What is Chocolatto, and how is it different from other hot chocolates on the market?
Chocolatto is not traditional hot chocolate. First, Chocolatto is thick and eaten with a spoon. First-time tasters compare it to a hot mousse or pudding. Second, Chocolatto is a low-calorie chocolate dessert — it’s made with low fat cocoa. Third, there are no GMOs, preservatives or artificial colors or flavors, and, finally, it can be made vegan with soy milk, nut milk, or water.
Why are you passionate about Chocolatto?
I was in Sicily the first time I tasted Italian-style hot chocolate, and it was love at first spoon. There was no going back to regular hot chocolate. Italians are famous for their foods because of the quality and taste. Italians live to eat rather than eat to live. It’s fantastic that the U.S. food movement is beginning to go in that direction, with a focus on quality rather than quantity.
Also, health is a big concern of mine and the health benefits of hot chocolate are a hot topic, no pun intended. Some studies show that more antioxidants are released when chocolate is heated, and that hot chocolate has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, or black tea.
What is the history of this thicker form of hot cocoa?
This is the original style of chocolate enjoyed in the European royal courts — in a dense liquid form. This molten liquid chocolate was wildly popular because it was perceived as an aphrodisiac, and [it was] also medicinal. Also, cacao was very expensive and therefore exclusive to the royal class. Fast forward to 2013 and many Americans have not tried this thick, dense style of hot chocolate.
I know Chocolatto is available at restaurants, but can you make Chocolatto at home without a frother?
Absolutely! Chocolatto can be made on the stovetop with continuous stirring till boiling. It’s perfect for a dinner party, special home dinner date, or treat for the kids. We also have fantastic Chocolatto recipes such as Chocolatto Orange, a delicious combination of dark chocolate with fresh orange juice and zest, prepared by Sexy Spoon Man.