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.
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