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.
Launching The Chocolate Babka Project
Admittedly, by heritage I am more a German kugelhopf than an Eastern European babka. I remember eating homemade kugelhopf and bundt cake at family celebrations in Los Angeles. When I mentioned babka to my German speaking father, he looked puzzled and asked, “What’s a babka?” Babka, much less chocolate babka, was just not in our pastryRead more ›
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 ›
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
- How About Some Mindful Chocolate Tasting?
- Jews on the Chocolate Trail
- Lunch & Learn: Central Synagogue
- Lunch and Learn: Tasting the Best Chocolate
- 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