Chocolate is poured into a talavera cup reminiscent of porcelain cups once imported from China and also of the shape of the original chocolate drinking vessels made of coconut shells. The wide brim is necessary for drinking chocolate, which is much thicker than mate.
The saucer with attached ring to hold a cup is called a mancerina, named for Pedro de Toledo y Leyva, Marqués de Mancera, the Viceroy Peru. It is said that he asked a Lima silversmith to fashion a small plate with a fixed ring to hold his chocolate cup in place. Perhaps the rumor that the viceroy had unsteady hands was true, but certain was that the mancerina not only kept chocolate drinks from spilling onto fine fabrics but also provided secure space for bonbons as the elite moved about the palace. In no time, the mancerina became the way to drink chocolate by all who did, whether in a palace or on the patio, in Europe and the Americas.
Photo by Kitty Leaken
Note: Representative image at left is often cropped for display purposes. Downloaded high-resolution images are not cropped.