18 Aug2007

batidor1

I sat down to type out a post on sikwate, tsokolate, hot chocolate made from tablea (chocolate tablets), but realized I should first do a post on batidors, batirols, molinillos, molinets and chocolateras, tsokolateras or chocolate pots. So you think you have the terms right? So did I, but read on… An earlier post of mine titled “Hot Chocolate from Tablea” resulted in several comments, but one commenter confidently pointed out that most of the readers were mistaken in referring to the wooden mixing implement as a batidor or batirol, and instead should refer to the implement as a molinillo (or molinet in English, according to Martha Stewart). He asserted that the Batidor was the vessel, also using the terms chocolatera, batilol and batirol to describe the same vessel that the hot drink was cooked in. I remember thinking at the time that I needed to do some research on this, but it slipped my mind until now. I thank Migs, the commenter, for heightening awarneness of this issue and forcing me to investigate the matter a little more, and share with all of you what I found out…

batidor2

My parents always referred to the wooden implement as a batidor, as do thousands of Cebuanos and Boholanos today and several of the vendors at the market that sell variations of this implement. I think many readers call it a batidor as well. I have three versions of the “batidor” in the photo up top. So yes, it is indeed referred to as a batidor locally or provincially, rightly or wrongly. Now, as to Migs suggestion that calling this thing a batidor is just wrong (which I was very much willing to accept, btw), what I think is a better conclusion is that there are indeed several acceptable and appropriate names for the same implement. At its most basic, in the Spanish language, batidor means a whisk or an implement to mix things with… I think it is fair to say that in the old days, say 100-200 years ago, those with some Spanish language capability simply referred to the batidor (wooden or otherwise) as the item used to mix up the chocolate, water and milk. But what of the molinillo? It too, is an extremely accurate name for the implement many of us call a batidor, perhaps the most original, or is it? Gourmetsleuth.com describes a molinillo as a Mexican chocolate whisk or stirrer and their photo points to something like the first “batidor” I have in the photo up top. Apparently invented by the Spaniards in Mexico around the 1700’s, the photos of this implement show what I refer to as a batidor. But I think that it is safe to say that the Pinoy batidor and earlier Mexican molinillo, were in fact based on an even earlier implement(s) to mix food from Europe or even back around to Asia (think French whisks for liquids and batters, Japanese whisks for tea, etc.)…

batidor4

So my conclusion at this point? Batidor or batirol in some parts of the Philippines refers to the wooden mixing implement used for frothing and mixing up hot chocolate; it is in fact the same or similar implement to a Mexican molinillo or molinet used for the same purpose, which was apparently invented by some Spanish colonizers in Mexico around the 1600-1700’s… But no, I do not think it is correct to call the actual chocolate pot or vessel for the liquid a batidor, as suggested by some. The pot itself is a chocolatera, tsokolatera or chocolate pot, and the ones common here are made of cast aluminum or some other metal such as iron, copper, etc. You can buy these pots in varying sizes in Bohol, though the one in the photo here was purchased from a Nana Meng’s outlet at Glorietta a year or more ago. These pots are very reasonably priced, but sometimes have a tendency to spring leaks, which is a tad annoying. I also worry where the base aluminum was sourced from to manufacture the pot… but that is another thread altogether.

batidor3

I think this type of chocolatera DIFFERS from say the fancier European chocolate pots in silver or porcelain with ornate shapes and set-ups. Those ones are more for show (you don’t put them directly on the fire) and they sometimes have molinets for a last minute frothing before pouring a cup of hot chocolate. They are meant to be used for serving the hot chocolate, often in fine company. The reason for the odd location of the pouring spout apparently has to do with the way the oils and or sediment chokes up the spout… I have wonderful memories of my mom vigorously twisting the batidor between her two palms when she cooked up a pot of sikwate. At any rate, these are the batidor/chocolatera basics as I understand them at the moment, any additional comments you might have to increase out understanding would be greatly appreciated…

batidor5

Oh, and P.S., reading through several sources from websites to reference books and my Scharffenberger tome on chocolate, it seems that the main purpose for inventing the molinillo in the 17th or 18th century was to make the process of “frothing” the chocolate more efficient. Prior to the utensil, Mexicans frothed the chocolate from one cup to another, incorporating air bubbles in the drink as it was poured from one cup into another and back again several times more… There is evidence, according the the Scharffenberger book, that Mexicans frothed their hot chocolate as far back as the 8th century! If you look closely at the wooden batidor/molinillo nearest you in the photos, above, you might be able to make out a moving wooden ring as part of the utensil, this is to encourage the air bubbles to multiply as the batidor is twisted between one’s palms vigorously… (the final photo in this post is taken from “The Essence of Chocolate” by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg, page 21, it is a FINE book, acquire it if you have the opportunity to do so).

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Em Dy says:

    In Rizal, where I come from, batidor meant the tool used to mix the tsokolate too.

    Aug 18, 2007 | 10:50 am

     
  2. connie says:

    Potatoe, potato, it’s all semantics. We call it batirol in Pampanga, and we call the chocolate betirul (meaning cholocate that have been whisked and frothed), to further confuse the linguists amongst us. LOL.

    As for making hot chocolate, if I find them, I use the Mexican tablea. Otherwise it’s Nestle instant hot chocolate with mini marshmallows on top. Who would have thought Mexicans also invented the stirrer that mixes the tablea.

    Aug 18, 2007 | 11:13 am

     
  3. erleen says:

    the topmost batirol on the photo up top is the same with what my mom uses when making chocolate using antonio pueo(sp?).

    Though I am not too fond of hot chocolate.

    I best remember the batirol when as children, my siblings and I fought amongst ourselves on who will get to use the batirol as a microphone during playtime. =)

    Aug 18, 2007 | 11:50 am

     
  4. lojet says:

    My mother who was a sikwate lover (from Cebu) called the vessel batirol and the wooden implement bolineo/boloneo. We were even apt to describe a curvaceous woman as having a “lawas daw batirol” I am not sure what the rest of the barangay called them but that’s how it was in our house.

    Aug 18, 2007 | 11:51 am

     
  5. tings says:

    Oh my Mom has one of those wooden batirols like yours (the round one) and we kids could never figure out what it was, so we just play with it and pretend it was a microphone and we would wear our mother’s bra on our heads pretending to be Mouseketeers…

    Aug 18, 2007 | 12:09 pm

     
  6. choy says:

    my mother who was waray, said “batidor”. my cebuano father caled it “batirol”. both loved “sikwate”/ “tsokolate” made from unsweetened tablea.

    sometimes they would make us drink a concoction of tablea, raw egg and tuba called “kutil” or “cotel” depending on how heavy your visayan accent. this was supposed to be a health tonic.

    one thing sure, these are all part of our history and culture. i still enjoy “chocolate eh”, every morning…that the wife permits.

    so let’s call the whole thing off…as the song said. not the drinking, mind you.

    Aug 18, 2007 | 12:37 pm

     
  7. allen says:

    AS long as the chocolate it produces is good, I don’t care much how it’s called :) BTW, I have “a whatever you call it wooden thingee” but I use a wirewhisk!

    Aug 18, 2007 | 2:13 pm

     
  8. lojet says:

    Choy, I think it’s called “kinutil”…. “Kutil ” I believe is a verb.:)

    Aug 18, 2007 | 2:32 pm

     
  9. tulip says:

    I too am confuse with all these names. But my granny use the name “batidor” for non wooden stirrer and call the common wooden stirrer as “molinillo”. I never heard the name “batirol” in our household until Im grown up and hear it from others. (To make it more confusing?) I understand why some says the jar is called the “batidor” or maybe “batirol” because that is how it is called in other latin country/ies.

    Aug 18, 2007 | 2:35 pm

     
  10. DADD-F says:

    We call it batidor in Waray and I don’t know about “kinutil” lojet but we do call the concoction “kutil”. It is drunk by preggy women also. Sayang lang I was not there when I was pregnant. It’s kind of difficult to make/get outside of Leyte.

    But tsokolate is great every morning, sabaw sa kanin together with budo (burong isda). Kung ang mga Tagalog nagsasabaw ng kape, kami tsokolate. Probinsiyana lang talaga ako, I never cared for commercial cocoa powder for my chocolate drinks, even Antonio Pueo’s (no disrespect intended). I also tasted their champorado and oatmeal-champorado(?). Sigh… I just make my own na lang, preferably with tablea (pure, nothing else added, not even sugar)from Palo, Leyte. Pero pag talagang wala at kailangan, pwede na lang din yung iba. Hahaha….daanin ko na lang din sa tawa. Baha dito sa amin ngayon eh.

    Aug 18, 2007 | 4:18 pm

     
  11. Paolo says:

    Word Origin of the word Batidor/Batirol

    Spanish..Batir= to beat, to wisk,

    Batidora = Whisk, mixer, beater

    Batidor/Batirol = Philippine bastardization of the
    Batidora.

    Aug 18, 2007 | 6:27 pm

     
  12. Apicio says:

    Actually should be under Things I should never do again in my kitchen: make frothy hot chocolate with a blender. Unintentionally decorated my kitchen ceiling one early morning with the first pulse of my blender containing heated milk and chocolate billets. Woke me up in a hurry I tell ya. Had to leave it so because it was the new fangled uncleanable textured relief. Guests asking for the name of the finish got “chocolate chip cottage cheese” for years after the rude awakening.

    Aug 18, 2007 | 6:29 pm

     
  13. Silly Lolo says:

    I guess most of you guys are too young to remember the taste of food cooked over a wood fired stove/grill. Believe me, there is a vast difference in taste from tsokolate to tuyo and even fried rice cooked in a gas fired stove/grill.

    In my family, the Laguna house had a wood kitchen and the Manila house had gas. Things always tasted better in Laguna, particularly the tsokolate and the champorado. The missing “ingredament” is a wood fire!

    Aug 18, 2007 | 10:49 pm

     
  14. Jade186 says:

    My parents (from Cavite & Batangas) have always used the word “batidor” for the above wooden implement used to whisk the chocolate tablea, I even used to call (wrongly) the honey swirl as mini “batidor”.
    My mom never had much patience preparing chocolate-eh (for non-Filipino readers: during the Spanish colonial era, chocolate-eh was the term used as a code by the Spanish friars to the servants to prepare thick chocolate drink as opposed to chocolate-ah which was the watered down version served to unwelcomed guests), so the honour was mostly given to my dad to make this divine drink. On the rare occasion that my mom used the batidor was when hitting us children on the head when we misbehaved!

    Aug 19, 2007 | 2:47 am

     
  15. millet says:

    my mom and my lola always insisted on calling the beater a molinillo, and i remember arguing with my mom that the rest of the world calls it a batidor. ahhh…they’re having sweet revenge now, MM. (i can almost hear them saying, “i told you so!”)

    my mom has a very good-looking batirol, tall and narrow. i guess the early mexicans loved their chocolate frothy as a cappuccino. as for me…nothing that a good wireless blender can’t do…

    Aug 19, 2007 | 8:04 am

     
  16. millet says:

    MM, please have that pot checked for lead. it could have been patched with lead ingots.

    Aug 19, 2007 | 8:08 am

     
  17. Marketman says:

    millet, for the amount I paid for it, it will be relegated to the garden as a planting vessel…

    Aug 19, 2007 | 9:31 am

     
  18. Foodie says:

    Jade186 says:
    (lines cut)
    “My mom never had much patience preparing chocolate-eh (for non-Filipino readers: during the Spanish colonial era, chocolate-eh was the term used as a code by the Spanish friars to the servants to prepare thick chocolate drink as opposed to chocolate-ah which was the watered down version served to unwelcomed guests)” (lines cut)

    Chocolate-eh = Chocolate espresso = concentrated
    Chocolate-ah = Chocolate aguado = watered down

    Aug 19, 2007 | 4:43 pm

     
  19. millet says:

    hahaha…you are so funny, MM. ipa-check lang gani! but you’re right, i don’t think anybody checks the materials that local cooking utensils are made with. a lot of these are welded together with “tingga”.

    Aug 19, 2007 | 5:23 pm

     
  20. corrine says:

    Pardon my ignorance but what does frothing do to the chocolate drink? I remember the Indians pour their tea or “chai” (?) from one cup to the other presumably to create froth too. Does it make the drink lighter, taste better?

    Aug 20, 2007 | 8:13 am

     
  21. Cumin says:

    Spent long periods over a hot stove with the batirol but could never make my chocolate as good as Mama’s… until I tried using a hand-held blender. I swear it’s even better! But extreme care needed, I’ve also splashed the white kitchen tiles.

    Aug 20, 2007 | 10:47 am

     
  22. ihid says:

    To batil thoroughly using tablea is to extract the cocoa butter from the coarse ground tablea.

    Aug 21, 2007 | 8:52 am

     
  23. Jacqui says:

    My lola called the cooking pot batirol and since that was what we only saw when we had our daily cup of sikwati, we refered to all equipments as”batirol”. My Mom corrected me when i was older, the wooden equipment used to breakdown the lumps of tablea is called “boloneo” and the metal or clay pot in which the sikwati was cooked “batirol”. By the why does anyone know where i can purchase a churrera locally?

    Oct 4, 2007 | 10:28 am

     
  24. lyra says:

    where can we buy these batirol & wooden stirrer here in the phils? pwd rin batirol made of clay kng meron available. kng may alam kau paki e mail n lng ako sa lyrabaruel@yahoo.com.ph THNX

    Oct 28, 2007 | 11:01 am

     
  25. Toto says:

    Traditional hot chocolate is now being re-introduced among cafes in Metro Manila. Our product, Chokolate de San Isidro SIKWATE! cocoa tablets or tablea (made in Davao), is being used by cafes and restaurants not only for beverages but for baked products. We observed that the market is now open to the idea of maximizing the use of tablea as a cooking ingredient. Chocolat Deep Dark Chocolate Cakes (in SM Mall of Asia) and Sugar Munch (in Davao) are baking the best Tablea Cakes. Further, a chef here in Davao uses tablea in native dishes. There’s a lot more to make out of our tablea than just champorado and sikwate (drink).

    Dec 4, 2007 | 5:10 pm

     
  26. Dina says:

    I found nice “molinillos” (moh-lee-NEE-yoh) at Amazon.com. By the way, my favorite chocolate-based drink is champurrado (A warm and thick drink, based on masa harina (hominy flour), piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar) and milk. Absolutely delicious!

    Dec 17, 2007 | 3:59 pm

     
  27. quiapo says:

    The french have a tendency to find neat solutons to food processing difficulties, such as replacing the mandolin iwth a “mouli julienne”.
    When tsokolate cravings emerge I use a french chocolatier which consists of a covered pot, rather like a coffee pot, with a plunger and a fine sieve at the end of it, which froths the chocolate to a fine texture which is almost chewy.
    No mess, and very delicious, an very quick.

    May 29, 2008 | 1:38 pm

     
  28. tembojin says:

    any of you guys have any idea where we can buy a chocolatera? Copper vessel preferred. Not the electric type.

    Apr 16, 2009 | 6:20 pm

     
  29. Marketman says:

    tembojin, sorry, I have not seen a copper one for sale in the Philippines, France the most likely choice for that, I would think. Local ones are made of aluminum or steel and are crude but still work nicely. They sell the basic ones at Nana Meng’s outlets in malls or at bazaars.

    Apr 17, 2009 | 2:39 pm

     
  30. grm says:

    hi!please help me nmn po.i just want to ask where can i buy the wooden batidor/batirol?

    thank!

    May 24, 2009 | 11:26 am

     
 

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