Abuelita is a brand of chocolate tablets, or powdered mix in individual packets, made by Nestlé and used to make Mexican-style hot chocolate, also known as chocolate para mesa (English: "table chocolate"). It was originally invented in Mexico in 1963. The name is an affectionate Spanish word for "grandma" (literally translated as "little grandmother" or "granny"). Since 1973 the Mexican actress Sara García has been the image for the brand before it was acquired by the Swiss company.
The chocolate usually comes in hexagonal tablets that can be split into equal wedges, and then melted into milk. The drink can also be mixed with spirits such as Kahlúa. The product ingredients (in order of percentage): sugar, chocolate processed with alkali, soy lecithin, vegetable oils (palm, shea nut and/or lllipe nut), artificial cinnamon flavor, PGPR (an emulsifier). Abuelita has been a staple Mexican product for more than 60 years, and can be identified by its unique taste and packaging. Other "Mexican chocolate" tablet brands are Ibarra and Moctezuma.
One suggested method for preparing Abuelita is to bring a saucepan of milk (or water) to a boil, and add the tablet of chocolate and stir continuously with a whisk or molinillo (a whisk-like wooden stirring spoons native to Meso America) until melted and frothy or creamy. The drink is served cool or chilled in preparation for mixing with alcoholic drinks.
Chocolate Abuelita is often prepared for special occasions, such as posadas, Christmas and Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a day in which people remember their family and friends who have died.
1 Currently manufactured by General Mills in the United States. Produced by Cereal Partners under the Nestlé brand elsewhere. 2 Brand owned by General Mills; U.S. and Canadian production rights controlled by Nestlé under license. 3 U.S. production rights owned by The Hershey Company. 4 Canadian production rights owned by The Hershey Company. 5 U.S. rights and production owned by Smarties Candy Company, with a different product. 6 U.S. rights and specific trade dress owned by Nestlé; rights elsewhere owned by Associated British Foods. 7 Produced by Cereal Partners, branded as Nestlè. 8 Produced by Cereal Partners, and Branded Nestlé in The United Kingdom, and Ireland. Produced by Post Foods, elsewhere.