Before Choco-Milk Strawberry, Cinnamon, Banana, and Neopolitan “supposedly” came along if you wanted anything besides chocolate you had to invent it yourself like we still do here in Irapuato. People make milkshakes with milk and fruit and powdered milk (to make it thicker), sugar, and sometimes malted milk powder and because they are adding some sort of powder to milk they just called it a “chocomíl”. Some Mexican people refer to a chocomíl as a “licuado” (lee-KWAD-oh) and others as an “ezquímo” (ez-KEY-moh) but the basics are the same. Chocomiles (choko-MEE-les) were and still are very popular. My wife Gina tells me that years ago people would buy a chocomíl for lunch because it was a cheap way to get full especially if you could get the vendor to throw in some oats or other granola type grains. It reminds me of the famous “dime” lunch of an RC Cola and a Moon Pie made famous in the American South.
I have some favorite ways to make a chocomíl. First of all, my mother-in-law, “Carmelita”, makes fantastic chocomil using Choco-Milk powder and bananas. Here is the recipe:
In a blender you put three ice cubes and one cup of very cold milk, the colder the better. Then you put in two eggs, one banana, two tablespoons of Choco-Milk powder and one teaspoon of sugar. Then you put the blender on “high” and let ‘er rip until it gets good and frothy. The secret to frothy is very cold milk, and ice. Mmmm…good!
If you don’t have Choco-Milk powder or you don’t have it in the flavor that you want you can repeat the above recipe with any kind of fruit and substitute the powdered milk or malted milk powder for the Choco-Milk. This is generally what they do at my neighborhood “chocomilería” or “chocomíl shop” except they generally don’t add eggs unless you ask for it. You have to be very careful with raw eggs.
I frequent two chocomilerías here in Irapuato. The first is called Frutas La Brisa and it is located on Avenida Guerrero #557. Some people refer to it as "el ultramarino". The word "ultramarino" means "overseas" or "imported" but it is also an old Spanish word for grocery shop. The fruit that is sold by Frutas La Brisa is the very best. The shop has been around for many years. It dates back to at least the early sixties and it is a favorite with the people of Irapuato because it stays open most of the night. In that way policemen and taxi drivers, etcetera, can grab something to eat and people coming home from a night on the town can start working on curing their coming hangover by drinking some fruit juice. Fruta La Brisa is near the "peluquería" or "barber shop" where I go to get my haircut and so I always treat myself to a chocomíl de fresa after my barber Pépe cuts my hair. When they make the chocomíl and pour it into a tall foam cup they sprinkle lots of cinnamon on top. That first taste of strawberry and cinnamon is to die for. If you don't want to take my word for it then you should go and try it for yourself. The second place is called "La Cascada" and it is located on Avenida de Trabajo #1190. Gina has a friend named María Isabel Hernández who works there and it is located in a market where Gina does some of our grocery shopping. Gina prefers the chocomiles made by her friend María Isabel which are very good but I prefer the chocomiles made by Fruta La Brisa and I don't know why either. It must be a Venus/Mars thing.
Before I go I want to mention another chocolate powder item that was very popular with Mexican school children but seems to be fading away. It is called Choco Piquín and it comes in little envelopes. You are supposed to empty the chocolate from the envelope directly into your mouth but the children lick their index finger and then stick it into the envelope and then lick the chocolate off of their finger. This reminds me of a product that we had in the United States in the 1950's called "Lik-M-Aid". It was a very tart, fruit flavored powder that came in little envelopes and we would lick the powder off of our fingers just like the Mexican children do. Like Choco Piquín, Lik-M-Aid is still around but now it is called "Fun Dip" and comes with little sticks so that hopefully you won't lick your fingers. Hmmm, I wonder if anyone ever died from licking their fingers. I think that if it is such a bad thing a lot of us would have been dead long ago. Oh, well, like they say here "Disfruta la Vida"...Enjoy Life!