Chocolate Welcomes Us to Spain
Chocolate, Jews and Spain share a long history. Spanish royalty enjoyed the Aztec drink Spanish explorers discovered in the early 1500s. It became so popular in Spain of the 16th and 17th centuries that chocolate houses, like cafés, developed everywhere. Similar houses still exist today in most of Spain’s major cities.
Spaniards guarded their production of chocolate secrets for decades, controlling cocoa production and trade in the Americas, as well as cocoa exports to Europe. Indeed, Spain’s conquest of the New World brought chocolate to Europe, then returned it to America transformed into candy.
Because the discovery of chocolate and the Spanish Inquisition along with the expulsion of Jews from Spain coincided, the Jewish connection to chocolate in this period was primarily through Conversos. As we traveled through the Jewish historic sites of Spain, we investigated any further connections of Jews with chocolate in Madrid, Astorga, Valencia and Barcelona.
We learned that in Spain there’s a route for just about everything—a silver route, the Camino del Santiago de Compestela, the El Cid Road but surprisingly not yet a chocolate route. So this report attempts to compensate for that “deficiency.” This is the chocolate route we created in Spain and Southwest France in June and July, 2007. Rabbi Prinz & Rabbi Hurvitz Tour Spain in Search of Jews and Chocolate.
On the Chocolate Trail in Belize’s Jungle
Mark and I happily signed on for three distinct rainforest chocolate experiences within a 15 mile radius of our home base, the romantic Cotton Tree eco-lodge which is nestled among Mayan villages near the Caribbean in the Toledo District of Belize. Not only did Belize envelop us in an exotic rainforest experience, our tourism contributedRead more ›
Is that coffee or chocolate?
Having just eaten my daily portion of chocolate covered coffee beans, I am primed to consider the questions I hear about coffee when I teach on the chocolate trail. How do the two foods really differ, other than taste? I think back to when the layout for On the Chocolate Trail was being designed andRead more ›
A Chocolate Cake for October’s Tricks: Devil’s Food
Heading into October and its culmination in Halloween, I find myself hankering for Devil’s Food Cake, despite its initially derogatory name. Supposedly in 1690 Pilgrims traveled to Plymouth Rock via Amsterdam. They stayed in a house near the city’s biggest chocolate houses and called that chocolate “the Devil’s food.” Later, a chocolate cake, perhaps simplyRead more ›
How About Some Mindful Chocolate Tasting?
These days comforting chocolate seems more necessary than usual. You could just grab a bunch and stuff yourself to help (maybe?) you feel better. Of course, you could add the chocolate in to your cookies, cakes, and ice creams. Or, you could taste chocolate with a mindfulness that focuses your attention solely on the chocolate,Read more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- A Chocolate Cake for October's Tricks: Devil's Food
- Announcing Second Edition: On the Chocolate Trail
- Book Optioned: Museum Exhibit
- Celebrating Ice Cream Month with Chocolate
- Choco-Travel Tips
- Chocolate Exhibit Hits the New York Times
- Chocolate Trail Broadens: "Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate" Travels
- Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Me
- Election 2016: Winning Fudge Brigadeiros
- How About Some Mindful Chocolate Tasting?
- Jews on the Chocolate Trail
- Lunch & Learn: Central Synagogue
- Mothers and Survival by Chocolate
- No End to Chocolate Exhibits Part III: Visits #3, 4 & 5
- Of Chocolate Exhibits There is No End: Part 2
- Super Food Chocolate for Super Bowl Sunday: Three Recipes
- Talking Chocolate in February
- Warm Up: 3 Historical Drinking Chocolate Recipes