Origin of the Mendiant
Mendiant is French for a beggar of alms, and refers to the four orders of mendicant monks. The chocolates known as mendiants are thin rounds of crisp perfectly tempered chocolate. The word derives from the Latin root mendicans, which means “begging,” in reference to those beggars of alms — monks or friars in religious orders who adopted a lifestyle of poverty for the purpose of preaching and ministry.
Historically, mendiants were offered at Christmas time and have four traditional toppings representing the white, gray, brown, and purple robes of the Dominican, Franciscan, Carmelite, and Augustinian friars.
Modern Day Mendiants
Modern-day mendiants are offered year round and sprinkled with any number of tasty and beautiful ingredients, and in countless combinations.
Recently perusing past lessons from my Ecole Chocolat training I came across the chapter on mendiants and decided then and there to replace my barks with these little bites of crisp chocolate. More elegant and fun to eat and the possibilities are endless.
Hazelnut Espresso Dark
Keeping my classic Hazelnut Espresso 72% Dark was a no-brainer as it has a steady following of fans. I’m especially excited about Everything Peruvian, inspired by my trip to Peru last May. I selected a single-origin 70% chocolate which is absolutely a classic Peruvian profile with a long finish and topped it with cacao nibs and Maras Salt both from Peru.
Later this year I plan to add additional flavors and in keeping with the original tradition, a Christmas mendiant using the 4 colors of the Mendicant Monk robes.
I hope you enjoy my mendiants as much as I enjoy making them for you!
Note: Please scroll down to read my two previous related blog posts: “Single Origin Chocolate – What Does it Mean and Why Does it Matter?” and “At the Amazing Maras Salt Ponds, Peru”