World Pie Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Pie

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Ceramic vessel, Maya, Yucatan, Mexico, Classic Period, 250–900 c.e., Ceramic, Fowler Museum at UCLA X91.632; Anonymous Gift

Good Food’s Annual Pie Contest will hit the Fowler Museum at UCLA this year, and given the museum’s focus on world culture, they’ve provided us with a few recipe ideas inspired from objects on display at the museum.

Stacey Ravel Abarbanel, director of external affairs at the Fowler Museum, has a thing for the taste bud-tingling combo of spicy and sweet. A Mayan chocolate serving vessel in the Fowler exhibition Intersections: World Arts/Local Lives inspires her suggestion for a pie that reflects how Mexican cooks so expertly combine sweet and spicy, in everything from moles to desserts. Maya artists of the Classic Period used texts and images to record and remember the achievements of particular city-states. This vessel is a type used by the elite to hold cacao (chocolate) beverages and is characterized by deep relief carving and the absence of paint. The image on this vessel is that of an elaborately dressed ballplayer—kneeling on his right knee, about to hit a heavy rubber ball with his hip or thigh. His kneepads and thick waist padding protect him from injury. The adjacent texts dedicate and name the vessel and list the personal names and titles of its owner.

Try this recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate  Pie from Serious Eats.