Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Me
Thank you to the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit for the invitation to speak at their event Chocolate, Coffee, and Judaism created in conjunction with the Detroit Institute of Arts exhibit “Bitter|Sweet: Coffee, Tea & Chocolate.” Not only did I have the opportunity to meet a curious audience, I also presented with Professor Howard Lupovitch from Wayne State University and the exhibit’s curator, Dr. Yao-Fen You. Federation’s Judy Loebl was a great host.
Since we are in the midst of a conversation about (the possibility of, perhaps,) a local New York area museum exhibit about Jews and chocolate, I was especially excited to see the chocolate appurtenances in person. Some I had seen in books, such as this porcelain of a woman drinking chocolate for breakfast. I love this piece since it demonstrates the use of the relatively new European technology of porcelain manufacture along with the relatively new appetite for breakfast chocolate drinking. The portrait also furthers a conversation about the colonial extract aspects of chocolate which continues to concern us in our chocolate consumption even today.
As the first hot, caffeinated drink to tempt Europe prior to coffee and tea, chocolate created a market for serving objects. These included chocolate pots and several styles of cups, such as these.
I also made special note of the design of the show, how the objects were displayed, the questions posed to viewers (such as which country sells the most coffee beans), the audio of Bach’s known Coffee Cantata, and the film clip of chocolate making from the Hampton Court Palace in England. The visual and the auditory were topped off by chocolate aromas at the gallery exit, where museum staff poured tastes of spicy sipping chocolates.
Choco-dar first erupted on our multi-country circuit of Europe in a VW van. That adult onset, self-diagnosed radar for chocolate experiences led us serendipitously to many wonderful chocolate discoveries and surprises. In the process I learned some chocolate travel tips. Chocolate travel generated the book and the website that I came to call On theRead more ›
Mothers and Survival by Chocolate
On the Chocolate Trail, I found amazing stories of mothers and chocolate from World War II. Immigrant Lisa Hoffman reminisced about how her mother insured she had the skills, including chocolate making, to survive. “I carried inside of me all of the lessons my mother had worked so hard to get for me. I could makeRead more ›
Chocolate Trail Broadens: “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate” Travels
I am very excited that the NYCs Bernard Museum exhibit, “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate” based on my book, On the Chocolate Trail, will now be forging new paths as it travels around the country. We selected On the Chocolate Trail as the book title for a number of reasons. First, it evokes the diffusion ofRead more ›
Talking Chocolate in February
Recent media featured projects on the chocolate trail in celebration of Valentine’s Day and “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate” at the Bernard Museum, NYC. Of course, Florence Fabricant’s mention of the exhibit in the New York Times was a highlight. Now, these stories just within the last two weeks: In The Jewish Love AffairRead more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- Announcing Second Edition: On the Chocolate Trail
- Bat Mitzvah Wants Fair Trade Israeli Chocolate
- Book Optioned: Museum Exhibit
- Chocolate Exhibit Hits the New York Times
- Chocolate Expo
- Chocolate Made My Lunch: Nashville
- Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Me
- Election 2016: Winning Fudge Brigadeiros
- Hunting for Chocolate: Fancy Food Show, NYC, 2016
- Local Chocolate in the South
- No End to Chocolate Exhibits Part III: Visits #3, 4 & 5
- Of Chocolate Exhibits There is No End: Part 2
- On the Chocolate Trail in Brooklyn
- Seriously Tasting Chocolate
- Super Food Chocolate for Super Bowl Sunday: Three Recipes
- Talking Chocolate in February
- That Time Jews Smuggled Chocolate to France — and a Recipe for Basque Chocolate Cake
- Warm Up: 3 Historical Drinking Chocolate Recipes