Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage. Final Chapters.

13 Sep

Part Ten. Production, Manufacturing, and Contemporary Activities.
Chapters 45-50.

Chapter 45 (Cabezon) explores the content of selected Jesuit letters (1693-1751) written in New Spain. The four documents selected provide unusual insights regarding cacao production under Jesuit supervision during the 17th and early 18th century, and reveal how income provided from cacao was used to offset annual expenses/debts and to pay censos (annual alms) to the Catholic Church. Chapter 46 (Snyder, Olsen, Brindle) presents an overview of technological developments associated with chocolate manufacturing, from stone grinding stones to stainless-steel equipment developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They explore the evolution of cocoa processing that began using equipment commonly used to process other foods, to the development of specialized equipment, and how changes in production methods effected the flavor, texture, and form of finished chocolate. Chapter 47 (Brindle and Olsen) considers the long history of unscrupulous merchants who adulterated chocolate by mixing and blending unnatural ingredients with the intent of defrauding customers. This dark world of adulterated chocolate included additions of animal, vegetal, and mineral products, commonly used to add color or serve as extenders and replacements for fat. Their analysis reveals that while many adulterants were harmless, some were potentially toxic. Chapter 48 (Gay and Clark) describes the creation and development of the historic chocolate program implemented at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Their chapter identifies the stages taken in their efforts to produce authentic, historic chocolate and offers advice how other historical institutions and museums might establish their own chocolate programs. Chapter 49 (Whitacre, Bellody, Snyder) relates how historical research and technical knowledge can be blended to produce a product that imitates the taste, texture, and quality of Colonial Era chocolate within reasonable parameters of historical accuracy. Chapter 50 (Pucciarelli and Barrett) relates that since earliest times chocolate has been viewed both as a food and as a medicine, and used to treat disease and promote health. The authors report data that measured attitudes, behavior, and knowledge of chocolate’s role as food and medicine among college student and members of the general population.

Part Eleven. Fieldwork, Methodology, and Interpretation. Chapters 51-56.

Chapter 51 (Cabezon and Grivetti) describes the techniques used by paleographers to identify documents by date and relates the skills used to read 16th-18th century hand-written Spanish documents. Their chapter, based upon a suite of l641-1642 St. Augustine chocolate-related documents, reveals the nuances and skills used when translating early Spanish manuscripts. Chapter 52 (Brindle and Olsen) review the types and kinds of cacao-and chocolate-associated resources available for inspection in Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, with specific attention to port records, account ledgers, diaries, and local advertising. Chapter 53 (Lange) identifies and describes the logical processes and decisions taken during the design, development, construction, and refinement of the Chocolate History Portal developed during the course of team activities (2004-2007). His chapter includes a basic overview of the Portal used by team researchers, its content, and navigation. Chapter 54 (Dunning and Fox) examines the structure, construction techniques, and forms of base-metal chocolate pots used in North America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Chapter 55 (Grivetti) considers chocolate during the period of the American Civil War (1860-1865) as recorded through military records and diaries written by soldiers on both sides of the conflict, as well as diaries written by women during this terrible period of American history. Chapter 56 (Grivetti and Shapiro) identifies a broad sweep of chocolate-related historical themes and topics where further research would be rewarding and concludes the anthology with a short epilogue and identifies how scholars representing different fields might take part in future activities.

Text: From the Historic Division of MARS Incorporated

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