Bambino’s Italian Cioccolata

Thursday, December 12, 1968

Reb gave Bambino a list of duties at the beginning of the night shift in the mess hall.  These tasks were designed to keep Bambino out of the bakery and not be a distraction for Reb.  One of the assignments was to defrost the milk dispenser and sanitize it before loading a new six-gallon carton of milk.

Bambino asked Reb if he could use the old milk carton (which was half full) to make hot chocolate.  It was prepared with a mixture of unsweetened cocoa powder, dry non-fat milk and granulated sugar.  This dry mix was whisked while fresh hot coffee was slowly added and a silky thick syrup formed.

The milk carton from the dispenser had about three gallons left, and Bambino heated it until it was scalding hot.  Then the thickened chocolate/coffee syrup (mocha) was gradually poured in, along with a few cans of evaporated milk.  This steaming hot concoction became “Italian Cioccolata,” and it was the best breakfast beverage I ever tasted.

Next Edition:  Firefight in Dai Phu

One thought on “Cioccolata

  1. What a wonderful diary of such a horrible war. The way you wrote about the men you served with was so utterly human and with all of the conditions they faced and came from.
    I found this narration very unique and kind.


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