Of Chocolate Exhibits There is No End: Part 2
Just as the Detroit Institute of Arts closes its wonderful Bitter|Sweet display of chocolate, coffee and tea, no need to despair. New York offers three additional exhibits. Setting aside the wondrous and elegant chocolate shops, at least three local museums currently exhibit artifacts related to the history and consumption of chocolate. For now, the new Jacques Torres Chocolate Museum will have to wait. However, we did manage to visit two this past weekend: “A Taste for Chocolate” at the Morris-Jumel Mansion and chocolate sculptures produced by cocoa workers in the Congo called “Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise” at the SculptureCenter in Long Island City. The sculptures will be post (3) and Jacques Torres’ Chocolate Museum, post (4) in this series. Clearly there is no end.
Not only does Morris-Jumel Mansion run an annual day long chocolate festival, which certainly deserves a visit, it is also the oldest existing house in Manhattan, located in Harlem’s Sugar Hill. British born Colonel Roger Morris and his American wife, Mary Philipse, developed their summer villa on 130 acres on the second highest spot on the island in 1765. During the Revolution, George Washington headquartered there in the fall of 1776 for a few weeks. Morris and the next permanent resident, Stephen Jumel, were traders and dry goods salesman, engaged in the day’s chocolate business, among other things. At one point Aaron Burr lived there during his short marriage to Eliza Jumel, Stephen’s widow. The charming vicinity at Mount Morris has been maintained to look as it did in the late 1800s.
The brochure for “A Taste for Chocolate” envisions Mary Morris and Eliza Jumel breakfasting on chocolate and reproduces a June 30, 1810 bill of lading belonging to Stephen Jumel for cargo including 265 cacao bags.
Three items stood out in the show:
A delicate and handy chocolate traveling set from the Bruce Museum, dated 1845, from the Sévres Porcelain. The appurtenances fit into their slots as bonbons in a chocolate sampler.
Two elegant American porcelain dishes from 1984 decorated with cocoa pods.
This vibrant painting of a cocoa tree by Mike McMath, 2017, captures the natural beauty of our chocolate’s start.
Look around and then partake in some of the unusual chocolate products sold in the gift shop.
Los Siete Cielos or Seven Heaven Challah Recipe
Los Siete Cielos or Seven Heaven Bread Adapted from Rabbi Robert Sternberg’s The Sephardic Kitchen: The Healthful Food and Rich Culture of the Mediterranean Jews Yield: one large bread Allow time for the shaping of the various elements of this challah and enjoy the anise flavored liqueur in the dough. INGREDIENTS: 1 teaspoon plus 1Read more ›
Cheese Babka Recipe
CHEESE BABKA RECIPE Adapted from Beth Hensperger’s The Bread Bible: 300 Favorite Recipes Yield: One large cake DOUGH 1 tablespoon active dry yeast Pinch sugar ¼ cup warm water (105º to 115º) ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted ¼ cup sugar 1 ½ teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ½ teaspoon almond extract ¾Read more ›
A Shikker Challah
When I saw this recipe calling for brandy in challah, I had to try it. Liquor seemed such an unlikely ingredient for a challah. Titled “Chaleh I,” it seemed to have been a standard Shabbat bread in the collection of over 1600 recipes previously published in the Forward and gathered by Regina Frishwasser (“editor recipeRead more ›
What? No Babka at Catskills Hotels? *
The borscht belt must have been a babka belt. When thinking of chocolate babka, the Catskills came to my mind given the immense quantities of meichelach treats overflowing the tables there in the 1940’s-60’s. Babka must have been ingrained in the Jewish palate then, as it is now, I figured. Surprisingly, my search through several historiesRead 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
- How About Some Mindful Chocolate Tasting?
- Is that coffee or chocolate?
- Jews on the Chocolate Trail
- Launching The Chocolate Babka Project
- Lunch & Learn: Central Synagogue
- Lunch and Learn: Tasting the Best Chocolate
- Mothers and Survival by Chocolate
- On the Chocolate Trail in Belize’s Jungle
- Talking Chocolate in February
- Warm Up: 3 Historical Drinking Chocolate Recipes