Words by Michelle Fabio

For many who have visited Italy during the colder months, cioccolata calda, or hot chocolate, is one of their fondest memories. And with excellent reason.

Comprised of milk, sugar, a thickening agent like flour or corn starch, and, of course, chocolate (often in the form of cocoa powder), hot chocolate in Italy has nothing to do with the watery, sippable kind that you may have had elsewhere. For those who haven't had the privilege, hot chocolate in Italy and many parts of Europe is thick, almost the consistency of pudding, and the way to enjoy it is with a small spoon, one delicious mouthful at a time. Just be careful as it's quite hot!

In Italy, you can buy pre-made mixes such as Cameo's Ciobar so you can make your own cioccolata calda at home without having to go to the bar, but it's actually not difficult to make from scratch either.

Here for your viewing and culinary pleasure, is a video of an Italian making cioccolata calda on the stove top--in English!

So now you have no excuse for not making Italian hot chocolate at home.

Do you remember your first experience with cioccolata calda in Italy? Please share!