Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage.

07 Aug

Figure 3. Cacao farmland near Una where cabruca cacao is grown and collected in the biodiverse Mata Atlantica rainforest

Cacao farmland near Una (south of Bahia) where cabruca cacao (type of cacao) is grown and collected in the biodiverse Mata Atlantica rainforest
From the Historic Division of MARS Incorporated

Chapter 40

Author: Timothy Walker

Title: Establishing Cacao Plantation Culture in the Atlantic World.
Portuguese Cacao in Brazil and West Africa (c. 1580-1912).

This broad overview will trace the development of cacao knowledge and production in Portuguese colonial areas from approximately 1580 until 1912. Countries covered will be the continental Portuguese metropole (from whence colonial cacao cultivation was directed), Brazil and the West African coastal islands of Sao Tome and Principe. The chapter addresses economic and market issues that drove cacao cultivation and exports, as well as labor and agricultural issues that shaped cacao production. The work will also consider cacao “society” and the plantation culture that developed in southern Bahia, Brazil, and in Sao Tome during the late 19th century. This chapter will put into context the role that Portuguese-speaking peoples have played in the global history of chocolate as major producers and disseminators of cacao from Brazil to Africa.

Chapter 41

Author: Timothy Walker

Title: Cure of Confection? Chocolate in the Portuguese Royal Court and Colonial Hospitals (1580-1830).

This chapter considers cacao both as a medicinal substance within the Portuguese colonial empire and also as a confection enjoyed by elites in the Portuguese royal court. This contribution will use the person of Sr. Vicente Ferreira, the Portuguese “Chocolatier to the Royal Household” in 1810, as a lens through which to view these two issues: the royal chocolatier supplied confections to palace nobles and elites, but he was also responsible for providing medicinal cocoa butter to the Royal Military Hospital. The chapter’s chronological parameters are 1580 to 1830. Topics covered include uses of cacao and its by-products as a medical substance throughout the Portuguese empire, and court rituals surrounding chocolate in continental Portugal and Brazil. The chapter will also address the matter of chocolate represented in Portuguese art during the 18th and 19th centuries. The chapter will help put into context the role Portuguese-speaking peoples have played in the global history of chocolate, as major disseminators of cacao medicinal knowledge from Brazil to Europe, Africa and Asia.


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