Chocolate—A Sweet History from the Aztecs to Almacks

 
Chocolate engraving Cara/Andrea here (the NEW Andrea,) talking today about a subject near and dear to our hearts.

Chocolate.

The word sends sweet shivers of craving through most of us. Whether it’s consumed as a sweet or a savory, as a solid, a beverage, an ingredient in baked goods or sauces, few foods are as beloved. (And BTW, there is a medical reason for such euphoria—chocolate contains chemical compounds that trigger the brain to release endorphins, which stimulate a sense of well-being. But more on its medicinal properties later!)

So it’s no mystery that its history is as rich and alluring as its taste.

SweetRevenge The more I read about chocolate and its lore, the more I was salivating for the chance to work it into my books. And as I began to create the concept for my new Regency-set historical mystery series, I decided that it was a perfect ingredient to the character of two main protagonists, who are among other things, experts in chocolate! To celebrate the release of SWEET REVENGE—which hits the shelves tomorrow!—let’s take a random nibble through the centuries of our love affair with chocolate.

FOOD OF THE GODS

First of all, a few basic facts about Theobroma cacao (the scientific name for the plant that produces the beans.) There are three distinct types of cacao trees. Criollas are considered the ‘prince of cacao.’ They are very delicate and prone to disease, but produce the highest quality beans. Forasteros are the most common variety and although they are very hardy, they are the least flavorful. Trinitarios, named for the island of Trinidad, are a hybrid, and offer an excellent balance of taste and ease of cultivation. It is a tropical plant that grows roughly within a band 20 degrees north and south of the Equator, and originated in the New World, where archeological evidence shows it was used by the Olmec culture, which flourished in present-day Mexico from c. 1200-300 BC.

Chocolate-4 Chocolate came to be revered in Mesoamerican culture. According to ancient Aztec legend, the cacao tree was brought to Earth by the god Quetzalcoatl, who descended from heaven on the beam of a morning star after stealing the precious plant from paradise. It’s no wonder that the spicy beverage made from its beans was called the ‘Drink of the Emperor.’ It is said that this xocoatl or chocolatl was so worshipped that it was served in golden goblets that were thrown away after one use.

Chocolate was served during religious rites and celebrations. It was often mixed with flavorings such as vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, chilis, hueinacaztli—a spicy flower from the custard apple tree—and anchiote, which turns the mouth bright red. The Aztecs also believed that cacao possessed strong medicinal properties—indeed, warriors were issued solid cacao wafers to fortify their strength and endurance for long marches and the rigors of battle. (The first energy bars!)

The legend of Quetzalcoatl also held that the god was banished from Earth for bringing the gift of chocolate to mankind, and that one day, he would return in glory. So when the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortez and his fleet sailed over the horizon in 1519, the Aztecs thought he was the ancient god. Alas, poor Montezuma! Though it is recorded that he drank 50 cups of chocolate a day, his magical military elixir proved no match for guns and horses.

Chocolate-3 A SWEET SECRET

The earliest mention of chocolate in Europe occurred in 1544, when a delegation of Dominican friars returned from Guatemala and presented Philip II with a pot of hot, frothed chocolate. His reaction is not recorded, but I have learned that the Spanish found the Aztec preparation too bitter and spicy for their taste, and so began adding sugar from the cane plantations in the Caribbean islands. They also began to use a molinillo, or whisk, to froth the drink, instead of pouring it back and forth between two cups, as was the Aztec method. (The traditional chocolate pot, invented in the 1600s, has a hole in it lid to allow a molinillo.)

Chocolate-1 The Spanish kept chocolate their own private secret for many years. (English pirates who preyed on the Spanish treasure fleets sailing from the New World once burned an entire cargo of cacao beans, thinking they were sheep turds!) But by the late 1500s, chocolate had spread to Austria and France. Although there is some debate about how chocolate was introduced into France, the credit most likely belongs to Anne of Austria, daughter of King Philip III of Spain. It is said that that she gave her husband an engagement present of chocolate, packaged inside an ornately decorated wooden chest. (A sweet story, even if it isn’t true.) Chocolate soon became very popular in Catholic countries because Pope Pius V ruled that drinking the beverage did not break the fast, and so it could be taken as nourishment on Holy Days. (Theobroma cacao played a more sinister role in Church history in 1774  when Pope Clement XIV was murdered by the Jesuits, who poisoned his cup of chocolate.)

Limchocpot THE FIRST HEALTH FOOD

The first record of chocolate being used as a medicine came in 1570. Francisco Hernandez, the royal physician to King Philip II, believed that it was beneficial, and prescribed it to reduce fevers and relieve discomfort in hot weather. During the 1600s, Francesco Redi, personal physician to Cosimo III of Florence and one of the leading scientists of his day, spent time experimenting with the creation of decadent recipes for chocolate. Some of his concoctions included drinks perfumed with ambergris, musk and jasmine.

CHANNELING ITS ENERGY

Chocolate finally arrived in England by the mid 17th century. It’s interesting that coffee from the Middle East and tea from the Orient arrived around the same time, and chocolate was the most expensive of the three. Still, it became popular, especially among the elite of London, despite the cost. Samuel Pepys, the great chronicler of his time, made regular mention in his famous diaries of drinking chocolate. By 1700, there were over 2,000 chocolate houses open in London. In fact, White’s, the legendary gentlemen’s club, was originally established by an Italian immigrant, Francesco Bianco—Francis White—who opened White’s Chocolate House in 1693.

Debauve LET THEM EAT CHOCOLATE!

Now, recently I have seen a tempest in a chocolate pot swirl on some of the Regency loops regarding edible chocolate. Some people were scolding writers who include such treats in Regency stories, saying it is historically inaccurate. Well, I beg to disagree. My research has shown that chocolate was definitely being consumed in solid form by the late 1700s. In fact, several years ago I interviewed the U. S. head of the French gourmet chocolate company Debauve & Gallet, who provided these tantalizing tidbits of chocolate history.

Pistole2 Sulpice Debauve, was a chemist who served a pharmacist to King Louis XVI. On one of his visits to the royal family, Marie Antoinette complained about the unpleasant taste of her medicines. Debauve came up with the idea mixing it into a solid form of chocolate—a pistole or wafer-like disc that the Queen is said to have adored.  (The company still offers Pistoles De Marie Antoinette . . . a 1.7 lb box costs the princely sum of $200.)

Hb_marieantoinette_head The pistole was first made of cocoa, cane sugar, and medicine mixed together. However, as the queen became enamored with her new sweets, she asked for more variety in tastes. So Debauve became, in essence the first "chocolatier" as he created bonbons with such flavorings as orange blossom, almond milk, Orgeat cream, coffee and vanilla. It’s believed that the queen's favorite was almond milk.

Napoleon BONAPARTE'S BONBONS

Unlike his royal patrons, Debauve survived the revolution and in 1800 he opened his first chocolate shop on the Left Bank of Paris. By 1804, he had more than 60 shops throughout France. The company claims that legendary chef Antoine Carême and Debauve occasionally worked together, and that the idea for croquamandes—caramelised almonds coated with dark chocolate—resulted from a discussion between the Napoleon and Carême about creating a special treat to celebrate the Battle of Friedland victory in June of 1807. Debauve supposedly went back to his kitchen and voila—a few days later delivered the first croquamandes to the Emperor, who became yet another of history’s chocoholics.

I could go on and on, but space demands I cut this history short. Needless to say there are countless more delicious details anecdotes for those of you who would like to savor a bigger taste of the subject. SWEET REVENGE contains other fun historical tidbits in each chapter opening—along with chocolate recipes!

I leave off with two different questions: Firstly—do you have a favorite form of chocolate, or a favorite brand? (I have a soft spot for classic fudge brownies and Lindt dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt.) And secondly, have ever you discovered a fact in history (like chocolate being eaten during the Regency) that went against conventional wisdom on the subject, and thus took you by surprise? Please share!

130 thoughts on “Chocolate—A Sweet History from the Aztecs to Almacks”

  1. Andrea
    Loved all of that information how interesting. I know how much I love chocolate and here in Australia one of my favourites is cadburys milk chocolate and basically any of the Lindt chocolate I often visit the Lindt Cafe here in The City and I always walk away feeling great LOL.
    I haven’t come across any fact about chocolate in a regency that has surprised me I just realy wished that I had someone to make me a hot chocolate each morning LOL
    Congrat on the release of the new book I will be adding this one to my must have list
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  2. Andrea
    Loved all of that information how interesting. I know how much I love chocolate and here in Australia one of my favourites is cadburys milk chocolate and basically any of the Lindt chocolate I often visit the Lindt Cafe here in The City and I always walk away feeling great LOL.
    I haven’t come across any fact about chocolate in a regency that has surprised me I just realy wished that I had someone to make me a hot chocolate each morning LOL
    Congrat on the release of the new book I will be adding this one to my must have list
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  3. Andrea
    Loved all of that information how interesting. I know how much I love chocolate and here in Australia one of my favourites is cadburys milk chocolate and basically any of the Lindt chocolate I often visit the Lindt Cafe here in The City and I always walk away feeling great LOL.
    I haven’t come across any fact about chocolate in a regency that has surprised me I just realy wished that I had someone to make me a hot chocolate each morning LOL
    Congrat on the release of the new book I will be adding this one to my must have list
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  4. Andrea
    Loved all of that information how interesting. I know how much I love chocolate and here in Australia one of my favourites is cadburys milk chocolate and basically any of the Lindt chocolate I often visit the Lindt Cafe here in The City and I always walk away feeling great LOL.
    I haven’t come across any fact about chocolate in a regency that has surprised me I just realy wished that I had someone to make me a hot chocolate each morning LOL
    Congrat on the release of the new book I will be adding this one to my must have list
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  5. Andrea
    Loved all of that information how interesting. I know how much I love chocolate and here in Australia one of my favourites is cadburys milk chocolate and basically any of the Lindt chocolate I often visit the Lindt Cafe here in The City and I always walk away feeling great LOL.
    I haven’t come across any fact about chocolate in a regency that has surprised me I just realy wished that I had someone to make me a hot chocolate each morning LOL
    Congrat on the release of the new book I will be adding this one to my must have list
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  6. I have a special place in my heart for an Icelandic brand of dark chocolate called Síríus Konsúm. It is absolutely the best chocolate for making hot chocolate with, and it’s good for eating too. A few years ago they started making Easter eggs out of it and since then I always buy a Konsúm Easter egg.
    The Lindt Excellence brand is also good – I’m nibbling on a square of Intense Chocolate as I type this.
    Many years ago I read the history of chocolate and found many surprises in it, but of course I can’t remember any of them.

    Reply
  7. I have a special place in my heart for an Icelandic brand of dark chocolate called Síríus Konsúm. It is absolutely the best chocolate for making hot chocolate with, and it’s good for eating too. A few years ago they started making Easter eggs out of it and since then I always buy a Konsúm Easter egg.
    The Lindt Excellence brand is also good – I’m nibbling on a square of Intense Chocolate as I type this.
    Many years ago I read the history of chocolate and found many surprises in it, but of course I can’t remember any of them.

    Reply
  8. I have a special place in my heart for an Icelandic brand of dark chocolate called Síríus Konsúm. It is absolutely the best chocolate for making hot chocolate with, and it’s good for eating too. A few years ago they started making Easter eggs out of it and since then I always buy a Konsúm Easter egg.
    The Lindt Excellence brand is also good – I’m nibbling on a square of Intense Chocolate as I type this.
    Many years ago I read the history of chocolate and found many surprises in it, but of course I can’t remember any of them.

    Reply
  9. I have a special place in my heart for an Icelandic brand of dark chocolate called Síríus Konsúm. It is absolutely the best chocolate for making hot chocolate with, and it’s good for eating too. A few years ago they started making Easter eggs out of it and since then I always buy a Konsúm Easter egg.
    The Lindt Excellence brand is also good – I’m nibbling on a square of Intense Chocolate as I type this.
    Many years ago I read the history of chocolate and found many surprises in it, but of course I can’t remember any of them.

    Reply
  10. I have a special place in my heart for an Icelandic brand of dark chocolate called Síríus Konsúm. It is absolutely the best chocolate for making hot chocolate with, and it’s good for eating too. A few years ago they started making Easter eggs out of it and since then I always buy a Konsúm Easter egg.
    The Lindt Excellence brand is also good – I’m nibbling on a square of Intense Chocolate as I type this.
    Many years ago I read the history of chocolate and found many surprises in it, but of course I can’t remember any of them.

    Reply
  11. Helen, you have a Lindt Cafe??? (Drooling with envy . . . we have lots of Lindt stores around me, but I haven’t seen a cafe yet.) Cadbury’s is an excellent choice! And it’s one of the oldest makers of edible chocolate, though after the Regency, where my little history ended. Hope you enjoy Sweet Revenge

    Reply
  12. Helen, you have a Lindt Cafe??? (Drooling with envy . . . we have lots of Lindt stores around me, but I haven’t seen a cafe yet.) Cadbury’s is an excellent choice! And it’s one of the oldest makers of edible chocolate, though after the Regency, where my little history ended. Hope you enjoy Sweet Revenge

    Reply
  13. Helen, you have a Lindt Cafe??? (Drooling with envy . . . we have lots of Lindt stores around me, but I haven’t seen a cafe yet.) Cadbury’s is an excellent choice! And it’s one of the oldest makers of edible chocolate, though after the Regency, where my little history ended. Hope you enjoy Sweet Revenge

    Reply
  14. Helen, you have a Lindt Cafe??? (Drooling with envy . . . we have lots of Lindt stores around me, but I haven’t seen a cafe yet.) Cadbury’s is an excellent choice! And it’s one of the oldest makers of edible chocolate, though after the Regency, where my little history ended. Hope you enjoy Sweet Revenge

    Reply
  15. Helen, you have a Lindt Cafe??? (Drooling with envy . . . we have lots of Lindt stores around me, but I haven’t seen a cafe yet.) Cadbury’s is an excellent choice! And it’s one of the oldest makers of edible chocolate, though after the Regency, where my little history ended. Hope you enjoy Sweet Revenge

    Reply
  16. I was definitely surprised to hear of chocolate being eaten in the Regency, since I’d always been told otherwise, but I’m not at all surprised to find the French at the forefront. 🙂
    My favorite chocolate comes from Fran’s Chocolates right here in Seattle (they ship within the US). Delicious truffles and salted caramels.

    Reply
  17. I was definitely surprised to hear of chocolate being eaten in the Regency, since I’d always been told otherwise, but I’m not at all surprised to find the French at the forefront. 🙂
    My favorite chocolate comes from Fran’s Chocolates right here in Seattle (they ship within the US). Delicious truffles and salted caramels.

    Reply
  18. I was definitely surprised to hear of chocolate being eaten in the Regency, since I’d always been told otherwise, but I’m not at all surprised to find the French at the forefront. 🙂
    My favorite chocolate comes from Fran’s Chocolates right here in Seattle (they ship within the US). Delicious truffles and salted caramels.

    Reply
  19. I was definitely surprised to hear of chocolate being eaten in the Regency, since I’d always been told otherwise, but I’m not at all surprised to find the French at the forefront. 🙂
    My favorite chocolate comes from Fran’s Chocolates right here in Seattle (they ship within the US). Delicious truffles and salted caramels.

    Reply
  20. I was definitely surprised to hear of chocolate being eaten in the Regency, since I’d always been told otherwise, but I’m not at all surprised to find the French at the forefront. 🙂
    My favorite chocolate comes from Fran’s Chocolates right here in Seattle (they ship within the US). Delicious truffles and salted caramels.

    Reply
  21. Oh, Susanna, another treat to put on my To Be tasted List!
    That’s what I love about history—one is constantly learning new things that challenge conventional wisdom. It keeps reminding me that just like the present, the past has so many experimentations, and quirky minds at work, so it’s hard to make generalizations.

    Reply
  22. Oh, Susanna, another treat to put on my To Be tasted List!
    That’s what I love about history—one is constantly learning new things that challenge conventional wisdom. It keeps reminding me that just like the present, the past has so many experimentations, and quirky minds at work, so it’s hard to make generalizations.

    Reply
  23. Oh, Susanna, another treat to put on my To Be tasted List!
    That’s what I love about history—one is constantly learning new things that challenge conventional wisdom. It keeps reminding me that just like the present, the past has so many experimentations, and quirky minds at work, so it’s hard to make generalizations.

    Reply
  24. Oh, Susanna, another treat to put on my To Be tasted List!
    That’s what I love about history—one is constantly learning new things that challenge conventional wisdom. It keeps reminding me that just like the present, the past has so many experimentations, and quirky minds at work, so it’s hard to make generalizations.

    Reply
  25. Oh, Susanna, another treat to put on my To Be tasted List!
    That’s what I love about history—one is constantly learning new things that challenge conventional wisdom. It keeps reminding me that just like the present, the past has so many experimentations, and quirky minds at work, so it’s hard to make generalizations.

    Reply
  26. My favorite is called deBrand’s–it’s a small company located in Indiana. they are a little pricey, but definitely worth the special treat (and they have a website for anyone interested…). I prefer dark chocolate, but not so dark it’s too bitter.
    After seeing an aristocratic spy in every other romance novel I was surprised to learn that spying was considered “ungentlemanly” and looked down upon, partly because it involved lying and other dishonest (and therefore dishonorable) activities.

    Reply
  27. My favorite is called deBrand’s–it’s a small company located in Indiana. they are a little pricey, but definitely worth the special treat (and they have a website for anyone interested…). I prefer dark chocolate, but not so dark it’s too bitter.
    After seeing an aristocratic spy in every other romance novel I was surprised to learn that spying was considered “ungentlemanly” and looked down upon, partly because it involved lying and other dishonest (and therefore dishonorable) activities.

    Reply
  28. My favorite is called deBrand’s–it’s a small company located in Indiana. they are a little pricey, but definitely worth the special treat (and they have a website for anyone interested…). I prefer dark chocolate, but not so dark it’s too bitter.
    After seeing an aristocratic spy in every other romance novel I was surprised to learn that spying was considered “ungentlemanly” and looked down upon, partly because it involved lying and other dishonest (and therefore dishonorable) activities.

    Reply
  29. My favorite is called deBrand’s–it’s a small company located in Indiana. they are a little pricey, but definitely worth the special treat (and they have a website for anyone interested…). I prefer dark chocolate, but not so dark it’s too bitter.
    After seeing an aristocratic spy in every other romance novel I was surprised to learn that spying was considered “ungentlemanly” and looked down upon, partly because it involved lying and other dishonest (and therefore dishonorable) activities.

    Reply
  30. My favorite is called deBrand’s–it’s a small company located in Indiana. they are a little pricey, but definitely worth the special treat (and they have a website for anyone interested…). I prefer dark chocolate, but not so dark it’s too bitter.
    After seeing an aristocratic spy in every other romance novel I was surprised to learn that spying was considered “ungentlemanly” and looked down upon, partly because it involved lying and other dishonest (and therefore dishonorable) activities.

    Reply
  31. Karen, that’s a good point—we have the “Scarlet Pimpernel” image as a spy doing noble work, but you’re right—such activities were considered not for gentlemen (actually so little “work” was. No wonder they drank so much—life must have been awfully boring to any of them.)
    Will look for deBrand’s!

    Reply
  32. Karen, that’s a good point—we have the “Scarlet Pimpernel” image as a spy doing noble work, but you’re right—such activities were considered not for gentlemen (actually so little “work” was. No wonder they drank so much—life must have been awfully boring to any of them.)
    Will look for deBrand’s!

    Reply
  33. Karen, that’s a good point—we have the “Scarlet Pimpernel” image as a spy doing noble work, but you’re right—such activities were considered not for gentlemen (actually so little “work” was. No wonder they drank so much—life must have been awfully boring to any of them.)
    Will look for deBrand’s!

    Reply
  34. Karen, that’s a good point—we have the “Scarlet Pimpernel” image as a spy doing noble work, but you’re right—such activities were considered not for gentlemen (actually so little “work” was. No wonder they drank so much—life must have been awfully boring to any of them.)
    Will look for deBrand’s!

    Reply
  35. Karen, that’s a good point—we have the “Scarlet Pimpernel” image as a spy doing noble work, but you’re right—such activities were considered not for gentlemen (actually so little “work” was. No wonder they drank so much—life must have been awfully boring to any of them.)
    Will look for deBrand’s!

    Reply
  36. I didn’t know there was a question as to whether chocolate was eaten (as well as drunk) during the regency; of course it was. I looked it up once, however, and found that though chocolate candies, dipped fruits, cakes, etc. were available, people who didn’t make their own went to a confectionery shop where they would choose from fresh items in the case. Chocolate in ready to eat form as a shelf item (boxes of chocolate, candy bars and such) didn’t exist because the chocolate wasn’t stable; it would melt. There were some articles on this point around the time Libby’s London Merchant was published. IdeaFinder says the chocolate bar was invented in 1847 by Joseph Fry http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/candybar.htm
    I’m off the stuff myself for reasons both spiritual and health related, but I do remember See’s dark chocolate with special fondness.
    Hot chocolate in the regency: Didn’t they just have chocolate and sugar in it, with no milk? Doesn’t sound nearly as appealing as cocoa with mushfellows 🙂
    Andrea, your book is on my ‘buy new’ list at amazon, just waiting for enough other stuff to get free shipping 🙂 I do love Georgian/Regency/Victorian historical mysteries. So many good storytellers are going there.

    Reply
  37. I didn’t know there was a question as to whether chocolate was eaten (as well as drunk) during the regency; of course it was. I looked it up once, however, and found that though chocolate candies, dipped fruits, cakes, etc. were available, people who didn’t make their own went to a confectionery shop where they would choose from fresh items in the case. Chocolate in ready to eat form as a shelf item (boxes of chocolate, candy bars and such) didn’t exist because the chocolate wasn’t stable; it would melt. There were some articles on this point around the time Libby’s London Merchant was published. IdeaFinder says the chocolate bar was invented in 1847 by Joseph Fry http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/candybar.htm
    I’m off the stuff myself for reasons both spiritual and health related, but I do remember See’s dark chocolate with special fondness.
    Hot chocolate in the regency: Didn’t they just have chocolate and sugar in it, with no milk? Doesn’t sound nearly as appealing as cocoa with mushfellows 🙂
    Andrea, your book is on my ‘buy new’ list at amazon, just waiting for enough other stuff to get free shipping 🙂 I do love Georgian/Regency/Victorian historical mysteries. So many good storytellers are going there.

    Reply
  38. I didn’t know there was a question as to whether chocolate was eaten (as well as drunk) during the regency; of course it was. I looked it up once, however, and found that though chocolate candies, dipped fruits, cakes, etc. were available, people who didn’t make their own went to a confectionery shop where they would choose from fresh items in the case. Chocolate in ready to eat form as a shelf item (boxes of chocolate, candy bars and such) didn’t exist because the chocolate wasn’t stable; it would melt. There were some articles on this point around the time Libby’s London Merchant was published. IdeaFinder says the chocolate bar was invented in 1847 by Joseph Fry http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/candybar.htm
    I’m off the stuff myself for reasons both spiritual and health related, but I do remember See’s dark chocolate with special fondness.
    Hot chocolate in the regency: Didn’t they just have chocolate and sugar in it, with no milk? Doesn’t sound nearly as appealing as cocoa with mushfellows 🙂
    Andrea, your book is on my ‘buy new’ list at amazon, just waiting for enough other stuff to get free shipping 🙂 I do love Georgian/Regency/Victorian historical mysteries. So many good storytellers are going there.

    Reply
  39. I didn’t know there was a question as to whether chocolate was eaten (as well as drunk) during the regency; of course it was. I looked it up once, however, and found that though chocolate candies, dipped fruits, cakes, etc. were available, people who didn’t make their own went to a confectionery shop where they would choose from fresh items in the case. Chocolate in ready to eat form as a shelf item (boxes of chocolate, candy bars and such) didn’t exist because the chocolate wasn’t stable; it would melt. There were some articles on this point around the time Libby’s London Merchant was published. IdeaFinder says the chocolate bar was invented in 1847 by Joseph Fry http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/candybar.htm
    I’m off the stuff myself for reasons both spiritual and health related, but I do remember See’s dark chocolate with special fondness.
    Hot chocolate in the regency: Didn’t they just have chocolate and sugar in it, with no milk? Doesn’t sound nearly as appealing as cocoa with mushfellows 🙂
    Andrea, your book is on my ‘buy new’ list at amazon, just waiting for enough other stuff to get free shipping 🙂 I do love Georgian/Regency/Victorian historical mysteries. So many good storytellers are going there.

    Reply
  40. I didn’t know there was a question as to whether chocolate was eaten (as well as drunk) during the regency; of course it was. I looked it up once, however, and found that though chocolate candies, dipped fruits, cakes, etc. were available, people who didn’t make their own went to a confectionery shop where they would choose from fresh items in the case. Chocolate in ready to eat form as a shelf item (boxes of chocolate, candy bars and such) didn’t exist because the chocolate wasn’t stable; it would melt. There were some articles on this point around the time Libby’s London Merchant was published. IdeaFinder says the chocolate bar was invented in 1847 by Joseph Fry http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/candybar.htm
    I’m off the stuff myself for reasons both spiritual and health related, but I do remember See’s dark chocolate with special fondness.
    Hot chocolate in the regency: Didn’t they just have chocolate and sugar in it, with no milk? Doesn’t sound nearly as appealing as cocoa with mushfellows 🙂
    Andrea, your book is on my ‘buy new’ list at amazon, just waiting for enough other stuff to get free shipping 🙂 I do love Georgian/Regency/Victorian historical mysteries. So many good storytellers are going there.

    Reply
  41. Ah! A subject near and dear to my heart! I have eaten chocolate all over the world, but my favorite is Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut Bar followed by a confection known as a Cadbury whip! Sublime !! RWA National Conference is usually a chocolate delight for me as my writer friends from England, Australia and Canada bring me chocolate in an effort to persuade me to tell them WHICH Cadbury’s is best! I always demure and say I need more research. My Mother did NOT raise a fool! 🙂
    However, another favorite is the Mozart kugel which is produced by many factories in and around Salzburg (Mirabel is the most well known.) The TRUE Mozart kugel can only be found in a couple of shops in Salzburg where they are still made by hand. Heaven! Absolute heaven!
    Actually I have been surprised in my research about the heating of glass houses / conservatories in England that some actually had elaborate steam heating via the work of Jean Simon Bonnemain. I simply wanted to find out if it was possible based on the systems left to us by the Romans and stumbled upon Bonnemain’s work. The man was a genius and I am looking forward to incorporating his work into my WIP !!

    Reply
  42. Ah! A subject near and dear to my heart! I have eaten chocolate all over the world, but my favorite is Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut Bar followed by a confection known as a Cadbury whip! Sublime !! RWA National Conference is usually a chocolate delight for me as my writer friends from England, Australia and Canada bring me chocolate in an effort to persuade me to tell them WHICH Cadbury’s is best! I always demure and say I need more research. My Mother did NOT raise a fool! 🙂
    However, another favorite is the Mozart kugel which is produced by many factories in and around Salzburg (Mirabel is the most well known.) The TRUE Mozart kugel can only be found in a couple of shops in Salzburg where they are still made by hand. Heaven! Absolute heaven!
    Actually I have been surprised in my research about the heating of glass houses / conservatories in England that some actually had elaborate steam heating via the work of Jean Simon Bonnemain. I simply wanted to find out if it was possible based on the systems left to us by the Romans and stumbled upon Bonnemain’s work. The man was a genius and I am looking forward to incorporating his work into my WIP !!

    Reply
  43. Ah! A subject near and dear to my heart! I have eaten chocolate all over the world, but my favorite is Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut Bar followed by a confection known as a Cadbury whip! Sublime !! RWA National Conference is usually a chocolate delight for me as my writer friends from England, Australia and Canada bring me chocolate in an effort to persuade me to tell them WHICH Cadbury’s is best! I always demure and say I need more research. My Mother did NOT raise a fool! 🙂
    However, another favorite is the Mozart kugel which is produced by many factories in and around Salzburg (Mirabel is the most well known.) The TRUE Mozart kugel can only be found in a couple of shops in Salzburg where they are still made by hand. Heaven! Absolute heaven!
    Actually I have been surprised in my research about the heating of glass houses / conservatories in England that some actually had elaborate steam heating via the work of Jean Simon Bonnemain. I simply wanted to find out if it was possible based on the systems left to us by the Romans and stumbled upon Bonnemain’s work. The man was a genius and I am looking forward to incorporating his work into my WIP !!

    Reply
  44. Ah! A subject near and dear to my heart! I have eaten chocolate all over the world, but my favorite is Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut Bar followed by a confection known as a Cadbury whip! Sublime !! RWA National Conference is usually a chocolate delight for me as my writer friends from England, Australia and Canada bring me chocolate in an effort to persuade me to tell them WHICH Cadbury’s is best! I always demure and say I need more research. My Mother did NOT raise a fool! 🙂
    However, another favorite is the Mozart kugel which is produced by many factories in and around Salzburg (Mirabel is the most well known.) The TRUE Mozart kugel can only be found in a couple of shops in Salzburg where they are still made by hand. Heaven! Absolute heaven!
    Actually I have been surprised in my research about the heating of glass houses / conservatories in England that some actually had elaborate steam heating via the work of Jean Simon Bonnemain. I simply wanted to find out if it was possible based on the systems left to us by the Romans and stumbled upon Bonnemain’s work. The man was a genius and I am looking forward to incorporating his work into my WIP !!

    Reply
  45. Ah! A subject near and dear to my heart! I have eaten chocolate all over the world, but my favorite is Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut Bar followed by a confection known as a Cadbury whip! Sublime !! RWA National Conference is usually a chocolate delight for me as my writer friends from England, Australia and Canada bring me chocolate in an effort to persuade me to tell them WHICH Cadbury’s is best! I always demure and say I need more research. My Mother did NOT raise a fool! 🙂
    However, another favorite is the Mozart kugel which is produced by many factories in and around Salzburg (Mirabel is the most well known.) The TRUE Mozart kugel can only be found in a couple of shops in Salzburg where they are still made by hand. Heaven! Absolute heaven!
    Actually I have been surprised in my research about the heating of glass houses / conservatories in England that some actually had elaborate steam heating via the work of Jean Simon Bonnemain. I simply wanted to find out if it was possible based on the systems left to us by the Romans and stumbled upon Bonnemain’s work. The man was a genius and I am looking forward to incorporating his work into my WIP !!

    Reply
  46. Janice, you are right about the stability factor, and Fry is indeed credited with the first “eating chocolate” though my source says in 1830. (For what I gather, van Houten’s invention of a certain type of chocolate press in 1828 made it possible to extract the cocoa butter from the beans, and thus paved the way for developing more stable forms of solid chocolate.
    See’s a favorite of mine too! Sigh—excellent! 9Hey, chocolate is good for both body and soul, so maybe you should reconsider! 🙂
    I hope you enjoy Sweet Revenge. I’ve really been enjoying historical mysteries as a reader too. There are really some wonderful voices and stories out there.

    Reply
  47. Janice, you are right about the stability factor, and Fry is indeed credited with the first “eating chocolate” though my source says in 1830. (For what I gather, van Houten’s invention of a certain type of chocolate press in 1828 made it possible to extract the cocoa butter from the beans, and thus paved the way for developing more stable forms of solid chocolate.
    See’s a favorite of mine too! Sigh—excellent! 9Hey, chocolate is good for both body and soul, so maybe you should reconsider! 🙂
    I hope you enjoy Sweet Revenge. I’ve really been enjoying historical mysteries as a reader too. There are really some wonderful voices and stories out there.

    Reply
  48. Janice, you are right about the stability factor, and Fry is indeed credited with the first “eating chocolate” though my source says in 1830. (For what I gather, van Houten’s invention of a certain type of chocolate press in 1828 made it possible to extract the cocoa butter from the beans, and thus paved the way for developing more stable forms of solid chocolate.
    See’s a favorite of mine too! Sigh—excellent! 9Hey, chocolate is good for both body and soul, so maybe you should reconsider! 🙂
    I hope you enjoy Sweet Revenge. I’ve really been enjoying historical mysteries as a reader too. There are really some wonderful voices and stories out there.

    Reply
  49. Janice, you are right about the stability factor, and Fry is indeed credited with the first “eating chocolate” though my source says in 1830. (For what I gather, van Houten’s invention of a certain type of chocolate press in 1828 made it possible to extract the cocoa butter from the beans, and thus paved the way for developing more stable forms of solid chocolate.
    See’s a favorite of mine too! Sigh—excellent! 9Hey, chocolate is good for both body and soul, so maybe you should reconsider! 🙂
    I hope you enjoy Sweet Revenge. I’ve really been enjoying historical mysteries as a reader too. There are really some wonderful voices and stories out there.

    Reply
  50. Janice, you are right about the stability factor, and Fry is indeed credited with the first “eating chocolate” though my source says in 1830. (For what I gather, van Houten’s invention of a certain type of chocolate press in 1828 made it possible to extract the cocoa butter from the beans, and thus paved the way for developing more stable forms of solid chocolate.
    See’s a favorite of mine too! Sigh—excellent! 9Hey, chocolate is good for both body and soul, so maybe you should reconsider! 🙂
    I hope you enjoy Sweet Revenge. I’ve really been enjoying historical mysteries as a reader too. There are really some wonderful voices and stories out there.

    Reply
  51. Louisa, you are definitely a VERY smart cookie (or chocolate chip) Cadbury is very good, but i’ll put my Lindt Nut & Raisin bar against it in a head-to-head, LOL And yes, Mozart kugels are to die for! (I don’t remember which, but you can order one variety through the Vermont Country Store catalogue.)
    Your discovery about the heating in greenhouses sounds fascinating! Can’t wait to read about it!

    Reply
  52. Louisa, you are definitely a VERY smart cookie (or chocolate chip) Cadbury is very good, but i’ll put my Lindt Nut & Raisin bar against it in a head-to-head, LOL And yes, Mozart kugels are to die for! (I don’t remember which, but you can order one variety through the Vermont Country Store catalogue.)
    Your discovery about the heating in greenhouses sounds fascinating! Can’t wait to read about it!

    Reply
  53. Louisa, you are definitely a VERY smart cookie (or chocolate chip) Cadbury is very good, but i’ll put my Lindt Nut & Raisin bar against it in a head-to-head, LOL And yes, Mozart kugels are to die for! (I don’t remember which, but you can order one variety through the Vermont Country Store catalogue.)
    Your discovery about the heating in greenhouses sounds fascinating! Can’t wait to read about it!

    Reply
  54. Louisa, you are definitely a VERY smart cookie (or chocolate chip) Cadbury is very good, but i’ll put my Lindt Nut & Raisin bar against it in a head-to-head, LOL And yes, Mozart kugels are to die for! (I don’t remember which, but you can order one variety through the Vermont Country Store catalogue.)
    Your discovery about the heating in greenhouses sounds fascinating! Can’t wait to read about it!

    Reply
  55. Louisa, you are definitely a VERY smart cookie (or chocolate chip) Cadbury is very good, but i’ll put my Lindt Nut & Raisin bar against it in a head-to-head, LOL And yes, Mozart kugels are to die for! (I don’t remember which, but you can order one variety through the Vermont Country Store catalogue.)
    Your discovery about the heating in greenhouses sounds fascinating! Can’t wait to read about it!

    Reply
  56. No real favorite form of chocolate. I’ll eat it any way I can get it. We discovered SEE’S chocolates while living in Sacramento and they are delicious.
    As far as historical tidbits, I was shocked to find out that England had shipped out hundreds of thousands of Irish and sold them as slaves. It was part of their move to “clear the land for English ownership and occupation. There were also warehouses of food for english residents and food was being exported from Ireland during the Potato Famine. Another maneuver to eliminate the irish so they could take over. So many unnecessary deaths.

    Reply
  57. No real favorite form of chocolate. I’ll eat it any way I can get it. We discovered SEE’S chocolates while living in Sacramento and they are delicious.
    As far as historical tidbits, I was shocked to find out that England had shipped out hundreds of thousands of Irish and sold them as slaves. It was part of their move to “clear the land for English ownership and occupation. There were also warehouses of food for english residents and food was being exported from Ireland during the Potato Famine. Another maneuver to eliminate the irish so they could take over. So many unnecessary deaths.

    Reply
  58. No real favorite form of chocolate. I’ll eat it any way I can get it. We discovered SEE’S chocolates while living in Sacramento and they are delicious.
    As far as historical tidbits, I was shocked to find out that England had shipped out hundreds of thousands of Irish and sold them as slaves. It was part of their move to “clear the land for English ownership and occupation. There were also warehouses of food for english residents and food was being exported from Ireland during the Potato Famine. Another maneuver to eliminate the irish so they could take over. So many unnecessary deaths.

    Reply
  59. No real favorite form of chocolate. I’ll eat it any way I can get it. We discovered SEE’S chocolates while living in Sacramento and they are delicious.
    As far as historical tidbits, I was shocked to find out that England had shipped out hundreds of thousands of Irish and sold them as slaves. It was part of their move to “clear the land for English ownership and occupation. There were also warehouses of food for english residents and food was being exported from Ireland during the Potato Famine. Another maneuver to eliminate the irish so they could take over. So many unnecessary deaths.

    Reply
  60. No real favorite form of chocolate. I’ll eat it any way I can get it. We discovered SEE’S chocolates while living in Sacramento and they are delicious.
    As far as historical tidbits, I was shocked to find out that England had shipped out hundreds of thousands of Irish and sold them as slaves. It was part of their move to “clear the land for English ownership and occupation. There were also warehouses of food for english residents and food was being exported from Ireland during the Potato Famine. Another maneuver to eliminate the irish so they could take over. So many unnecessary deaths.

    Reply
  61. Librarypat, England’s treatment of the Irish and Ireland has so many horrific stories. I knew about the food , but the slave reference is new to me. Do you mean actual slaves, or indentured servants?
    On a lighter note, I know See’s chocolates too, and they are right up there! (Actually, it’s hard to find a chocolate I DON”T like . . . though I did once have a Russian bar that was not a delicious experience.)

    Reply
  62. Librarypat, England’s treatment of the Irish and Ireland has so many horrific stories. I knew about the food , but the slave reference is new to me. Do you mean actual slaves, or indentured servants?
    On a lighter note, I know See’s chocolates too, and they are right up there! (Actually, it’s hard to find a chocolate I DON”T like . . . though I did once have a Russian bar that was not a delicious experience.)

    Reply
  63. Librarypat, England’s treatment of the Irish and Ireland has so many horrific stories. I knew about the food , but the slave reference is new to me. Do you mean actual slaves, or indentured servants?
    On a lighter note, I know See’s chocolates too, and they are right up there! (Actually, it’s hard to find a chocolate I DON”T like . . . though I did once have a Russian bar that was not a delicious experience.)

    Reply
  64. Librarypat, England’s treatment of the Irish and Ireland has so many horrific stories. I knew about the food , but the slave reference is new to me. Do you mean actual slaves, or indentured servants?
    On a lighter note, I know See’s chocolates too, and they are right up there! (Actually, it’s hard to find a chocolate I DON”T like . . . though I did once have a Russian bar that was not a delicious experience.)

    Reply
  65. Librarypat, England’s treatment of the Irish and Ireland has so many horrific stories. I knew about the food , but the slave reference is new to me. Do you mean actual slaves, or indentured servants?
    On a lighter note, I know See’s chocolates too, and they are right up there! (Actually, it’s hard to find a chocolate I DON”T like . . . though I did once have a Russian bar that was not a delicious experience.)

    Reply
  66. I like chocolate in any form and almost any brand and it’s really easier to say which brand of choclate I don’t like -yes indeed, there is such a thing.

    Reply
  67. I like chocolate in any form and almost any brand and it’s really easier to say which brand of choclate I don’t like -yes indeed, there is such a thing.

    Reply
  68. I like chocolate in any form and almost any brand and it’s really easier to say which brand of choclate I don’t like -yes indeed, there is such a thing.

    Reply
  69. I like chocolate in any form and almost any brand and it’s really easier to say which brand of choclate I don’t like -yes indeed, there is such a thing.

    Reply
  70. I like chocolate in any form and almost any brand and it’s really easier to say which brand of choclate I don’t like -yes indeed, there is such a thing.

    Reply
  71. Wonderful post Cara/Andrea. I love chocolate, though I don’t like it too sweet, and dark chocolate is my favorite. For my most recent book, in which there is some traveling in Spain, my research suggests many English travelers disliked the Spanish habit of drinking hot, very thick chocolate for breakfast –thick enough to stand a spoon up in it, so that some travelers complained you had to eat it with the spoon, instead of drinking it. Sounds fine to me, though possibly a bit rich for breakfast.
    I’m quite fond of a small bar called Cherry-Ripe – cherry and coconut, covered with dark chocolate, though of the standard supermarket chocolate I mostly prefer almond chocolate or Old Jamaica. The specialist chocolate shops (Haigh’s in Melbourne) have delicious concoctions, and we have a Lindt cafe here, too, though so far I’ve resisted going there.

    Reply
  72. Wonderful post Cara/Andrea. I love chocolate, though I don’t like it too sweet, and dark chocolate is my favorite. For my most recent book, in which there is some traveling in Spain, my research suggests many English travelers disliked the Spanish habit of drinking hot, very thick chocolate for breakfast –thick enough to stand a spoon up in it, so that some travelers complained you had to eat it with the spoon, instead of drinking it. Sounds fine to me, though possibly a bit rich for breakfast.
    I’m quite fond of a small bar called Cherry-Ripe – cherry and coconut, covered with dark chocolate, though of the standard supermarket chocolate I mostly prefer almond chocolate or Old Jamaica. The specialist chocolate shops (Haigh’s in Melbourne) have delicious concoctions, and we have a Lindt cafe here, too, though so far I’ve resisted going there.

    Reply
  73. Wonderful post Cara/Andrea. I love chocolate, though I don’t like it too sweet, and dark chocolate is my favorite. For my most recent book, in which there is some traveling in Spain, my research suggests many English travelers disliked the Spanish habit of drinking hot, very thick chocolate for breakfast –thick enough to stand a spoon up in it, so that some travelers complained you had to eat it with the spoon, instead of drinking it. Sounds fine to me, though possibly a bit rich for breakfast.
    I’m quite fond of a small bar called Cherry-Ripe – cherry and coconut, covered with dark chocolate, though of the standard supermarket chocolate I mostly prefer almond chocolate or Old Jamaica. The specialist chocolate shops (Haigh’s in Melbourne) have delicious concoctions, and we have a Lindt cafe here, too, though so far I’ve resisted going there.

    Reply
  74. Wonderful post Cara/Andrea. I love chocolate, though I don’t like it too sweet, and dark chocolate is my favorite. For my most recent book, in which there is some traveling in Spain, my research suggests many English travelers disliked the Spanish habit of drinking hot, very thick chocolate for breakfast –thick enough to stand a spoon up in it, so that some travelers complained you had to eat it with the spoon, instead of drinking it. Sounds fine to me, though possibly a bit rich for breakfast.
    I’m quite fond of a small bar called Cherry-Ripe – cherry and coconut, covered with dark chocolate, though of the standard supermarket chocolate I mostly prefer almond chocolate or Old Jamaica. The specialist chocolate shops (Haigh’s in Melbourne) have delicious concoctions, and we have a Lindt cafe here, too, though so far I’ve resisted going there.

    Reply
  75. Wonderful post Cara/Andrea. I love chocolate, though I don’t like it too sweet, and dark chocolate is my favorite. For my most recent book, in which there is some traveling in Spain, my research suggests many English travelers disliked the Spanish habit of drinking hot, very thick chocolate for breakfast –thick enough to stand a spoon up in it, so that some travelers complained you had to eat it with the spoon, instead of drinking it. Sounds fine to me, though possibly a bit rich for breakfast.
    I’m quite fond of a small bar called Cherry-Ripe – cherry and coconut, covered with dark chocolate, though of the standard supermarket chocolate I mostly prefer almond chocolate or Old Jamaica. The specialist chocolate shops (Haigh’s in Melbourne) have delicious concoctions, and we have a Lindt cafe here, too, though so far I’ve resisted going there.

    Reply
  76. Anne, that’s interesting about the Spanish style chocolate. It does sound a bit rich for breakfast. I’m a dark chocolate fan too, though I do like the Lindt milk chocolate with raisin and nuts. Very delicious! Must do some research (yes, research!) and see if there are Lindt cafes in the US. I haven’t seen any—just the specialty shops.

    Reply
  77. Anne, that’s interesting about the Spanish style chocolate. It does sound a bit rich for breakfast. I’m a dark chocolate fan too, though I do like the Lindt milk chocolate with raisin and nuts. Very delicious! Must do some research (yes, research!) and see if there are Lindt cafes in the US. I haven’t seen any—just the specialty shops.

    Reply
  78. Anne, that’s interesting about the Spanish style chocolate. It does sound a bit rich for breakfast. I’m a dark chocolate fan too, though I do like the Lindt milk chocolate with raisin and nuts. Very delicious! Must do some research (yes, research!) and see if there are Lindt cafes in the US. I haven’t seen any—just the specialty shops.

    Reply
  79. Anne, that’s interesting about the Spanish style chocolate. It does sound a bit rich for breakfast. I’m a dark chocolate fan too, though I do like the Lindt milk chocolate with raisin and nuts. Very delicious! Must do some research (yes, research!) and see if there are Lindt cafes in the US. I haven’t seen any—just the specialty shops.

    Reply
  80. Anne, that’s interesting about the Spanish style chocolate. It does sound a bit rich for breakfast. I’m a dark chocolate fan too, though I do like the Lindt milk chocolate with raisin and nuts. Very delicious! Must do some research (yes, research!) and see if there are Lindt cafes in the US. I haven’t seen any—just the specialty shops.

    Reply
  81. All I can say is chocolate butter creams freshly made on site by Sweenor’s Chocolates. Talk about luck – the main location is right in my little town. The only problem is I’m a Type I diabetic (it runs in my family) – the good thing is because of that I can only indulge once or twice a year!
    I always love when there is a scene in one of the historical romance books I read that mention chocolate. When then mention having chocolage (without sugar) I wonder how good it could have tasted! Guess it would have been a lot easier to pass up than it is now.

    Reply
  82. All I can say is chocolate butter creams freshly made on site by Sweenor’s Chocolates. Talk about luck – the main location is right in my little town. The only problem is I’m a Type I diabetic (it runs in my family) – the good thing is because of that I can only indulge once or twice a year!
    I always love when there is a scene in one of the historical romance books I read that mention chocolate. When then mention having chocolage (without sugar) I wonder how good it could have tasted! Guess it would have been a lot easier to pass up than it is now.

    Reply
  83. All I can say is chocolate butter creams freshly made on site by Sweenor’s Chocolates. Talk about luck – the main location is right in my little town. The only problem is I’m a Type I diabetic (it runs in my family) – the good thing is because of that I can only indulge once or twice a year!
    I always love when there is a scene in one of the historical romance books I read that mention chocolate. When then mention having chocolage (without sugar) I wonder how good it could have tasted! Guess it would have been a lot easier to pass up than it is now.

    Reply
  84. All I can say is chocolate butter creams freshly made on site by Sweenor’s Chocolates. Talk about luck – the main location is right in my little town. The only problem is I’m a Type I diabetic (it runs in my family) – the good thing is because of that I can only indulge once or twice a year!
    I always love when there is a scene in one of the historical romance books I read that mention chocolate. When then mention having chocolage (without sugar) I wonder how good it could have tasted! Guess it would have been a lot easier to pass up than it is now.

    Reply
  85. All I can say is chocolate butter creams freshly made on site by Sweenor’s Chocolates. Talk about luck – the main location is right in my little town. The only problem is I’m a Type I diabetic (it runs in my family) – the good thing is because of that I can only indulge once or twice a year!
    I always love when there is a scene in one of the historical romance books I read that mention chocolate. When then mention having chocolage (without sugar) I wonder how good it could have tasted! Guess it would have been a lot easier to pass up than it is now.

    Reply
  86. Oh, swoon on the chocolate butter creams! Most of the time I prefer solid chocolate, but freshly made creams are amazing So sorry you can’t indulge more (but that may be a blessing in disguise. I fear I would become fat as Prinny if I lived next to a gourmet chocolate factory!)
    Mexican cooking uses chocolate without sugar for mole sauces. it’s more of a savory . . . but I confess, I prefer the sweet version.

    Reply
  87. Oh, swoon on the chocolate butter creams! Most of the time I prefer solid chocolate, but freshly made creams are amazing So sorry you can’t indulge more (but that may be a blessing in disguise. I fear I would become fat as Prinny if I lived next to a gourmet chocolate factory!)
    Mexican cooking uses chocolate without sugar for mole sauces. it’s more of a savory . . . but I confess, I prefer the sweet version.

    Reply
  88. Oh, swoon on the chocolate butter creams! Most of the time I prefer solid chocolate, but freshly made creams are amazing So sorry you can’t indulge more (but that may be a blessing in disguise. I fear I would become fat as Prinny if I lived next to a gourmet chocolate factory!)
    Mexican cooking uses chocolate without sugar for mole sauces. it’s more of a savory . . . but I confess, I prefer the sweet version.

    Reply
  89. Oh, swoon on the chocolate butter creams! Most of the time I prefer solid chocolate, but freshly made creams are amazing So sorry you can’t indulge more (but that may be a blessing in disguise. I fear I would become fat as Prinny if I lived next to a gourmet chocolate factory!)
    Mexican cooking uses chocolate without sugar for mole sauces. it’s more of a savory . . . but I confess, I prefer the sweet version.

    Reply
  90. Oh, swoon on the chocolate butter creams! Most of the time I prefer solid chocolate, but freshly made creams are amazing So sorry you can’t indulge more (but that may be a blessing in disguise. I fear I would become fat as Prinny if I lived next to a gourmet chocolate factory!)
    Mexican cooking uses chocolate without sugar for mole sauces. it’s more of a savory . . . but I confess, I prefer the sweet version.

    Reply
  91. I lived (briefly) in Papua New Guinea in 1984 and Cocoa is one of their crops. My biggest surprise was how badly the stuff stinks after picking. And, after months without chocolate (being an M & M kinda gal) the first meal I had after landing back in Australia involved a stop at an bakery where I had the MOST decadent slice of chocolate cake, fudge icing and curls of chocolate shavings. After months of no eating (just smelling, yikes) chocolate – it was fabulous! Perhaps we don’t think much about it when it is readily available?

    Reply
  92. I lived (briefly) in Papua New Guinea in 1984 and Cocoa is one of their crops. My biggest surprise was how badly the stuff stinks after picking. And, after months without chocolate (being an M & M kinda gal) the first meal I had after landing back in Australia involved a stop at an bakery where I had the MOST decadent slice of chocolate cake, fudge icing and curls of chocolate shavings. After months of no eating (just smelling, yikes) chocolate – it was fabulous! Perhaps we don’t think much about it when it is readily available?

    Reply
  93. I lived (briefly) in Papua New Guinea in 1984 and Cocoa is one of their crops. My biggest surprise was how badly the stuff stinks after picking. And, after months without chocolate (being an M & M kinda gal) the first meal I had after landing back in Australia involved a stop at an bakery where I had the MOST decadent slice of chocolate cake, fudge icing and curls of chocolate shavings. After months of no eating (just smelling, yikes) chocolate – it was fabulous! Perhaps we don’t think much about it when it is readily available?

    Reply
  94. I lived (briefly) in Papua New Guinea in 1984 and Cocoa is one of their crops. My biggest surprise was how badly the stuff stinks after picking. And, after months without chocolate (being an M & M kinda gal) the first meal I had after landing back in Australia involved a stop at an bakery where I had the MOST decadent slice of chocolate cake, fudge icing and curls of chocolate shavings. After months of no eating (just smelling, yikes) chocolate – it was fabulous! Perhaps we don’t think much about it when it is readily available?

    Reply
  95. I lived (briefly) in Papua New Guinea in 1984 and Cocoa is one of their crops. My biggest surprise was how badly the stuff stinks after picking. And, after months without chocolate (being an M & M kinda gal) the first meal I had after landing back in Australia involved a stop at an bakery where I had the MOST decadent slice of chocolate cake, fudge icing and curls of chocolate shavings. After months of no eating (just smelling, yikes) chocolate – it was fabulous! Perhaps we don’t think much about it when it is readily available?

    Reply
  96. If you Google irish slaves you will come up with many articles on the trade. It started with James II about 1625 and from 1641 to 1652 300,000 were sold as slaves. In the 1650’s 100,000 Irish children ages 10 to 14 were sold as slaves in the West Indies, and the colonies. These were not indentured servants, who were close to slaves. I read that if an indentured servant had a child, it belonged to the owner of her indenture. When the indenture was up, she could leave, but the child could not.

    Reply
  97. If you Google irish slaves you will come up with many articles on the trade. It started with James II about 1625 and from 1641 to 1652 300,000 were sold as slaves. In the 1650’s 100,000 Irish children ages 10 to 14 were sold as slaves in the West Indies, and the colonies. These were not indentured servants, who were close to slaves. I read that if an indentured servant had a child, it belonged to the owner of her indenture. When the indenture was up, she could leave, but the child could not.

    Reply
  98. If you Google irish slaves you will come up with many articles on the trade. It started with James II about 1625 and from 1641 to 1652 300,000 were sold as slaves. In the 1650’s 100,000 Irish children ages 10 to 14 were sold as slaves in the West Indies, and the colonies. These were not indentured servants, who were close to slaves. I read that if an indentured servant had a child, it belonged to the owner of her indenture. When the indenture was up, she could leave, but the child could not.

    Reply
  99. If you Google irish slaves you will come up with many articles on the trade. It started with James II about 1625 and from 1641 to 1652 300,000 were sold as slaves. In the 1650’s 100,000 Irish children ages 10 to 14 were sold as slaves in the West Indies, and the colonies. These were not indentured servants, who were close to slaves. I read that if an indentured servant had a child, it belonged to the owner of her indenture. When the indenture was up, she could leave, but the child could not.

    Reply
  100. If you Google irish slaves you will come up with many articles on the trade. It started with James II about 1625 and from 1641 to 1652 300,000 were sold as slaves. In the 1650’s 100,000 Irish children ages 10 to 14 were sold as slaves in the West Indies, and the colonies. These were not indentured servants, who were close to slaves. I read that if an indentured servant had a child, it belonged to the owner of her indenture. When the indenture was up, she could leave, but the child could not.

    Reply
  101. That’s very interesting, JPoorman. Seeing as the cocoa pods are a fleshy fruit, I can imagine that as they lie around in a tropical climate, waiting for the beans to be extracted, that the smell could be . . . pungent. That chocolate cake sounds wonderful—it seems from some of our other comments that the Aussies know how to do good things with our favorite foodstuff

    Reply
  102. That’s very interesting, JPoorman. Seeing as the cocoa pods are a fleshy fruit, I can imagine that as they lie around in a tropical climate, waiting for the beans to be extracted, that the smell could be . . . pungent. That chocolate cake sounds wonderful—it seems from some of our other comments that the Aussies know how to do good things with our favorite foodstuff

    Reply
  103. That’s very interesting, JPoorman. Seeing as the cocoa pods are a fleshy fruit, I can imagine that as they lie around in a tropical climate, waiting for the beans to be extracted, that the smell could be . . . pungent. That chocolate cake sounds wonderful—it seems from some of our other comments that the Aussies know how to do good things with our favorite foodstuff

    Reply
  104. That’s very interesting, JPoorman. Seeing as the cocoa pods are a fleshy fruit, I can imagine that as they lie around in a tropical climate, waiting for the beans to be extracted, that the smell could be . . . pungent. That chocolate cake sounds wonderful—it seems from some of our other comments that the Aussies know how to do good things with our favorite foodstuff

    Reply
  105. That’s very interesting, JPoorman. Seeing as the cocoa pods are a fleshy fruit, I can imagine that as they lie around in a tropical climate, waiting for the beans to be extracted, that the smell could be . . . pungent. That chocolate cake sounds wonderful—it seems from some of our other comments that the Aussies know how to do good things with our favorite foodstuff

    Reply

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