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Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage

Louis E. Grivetti, Howard-Yana Shapiro

ISBN: 978-0-470-41131-5 May 2008 1000 Pages


International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) 2010 Award Finalists in the Culinary History category.

Chocolate. We all love it, but how much do we really know about it? In addition to pleasing palates since ancient times, chocolate has played an integral role in culture, society, religion, medicine, and economic development across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

In 1998, the Chocolate History Group was formed by the University of California, Davis, and Mars, Incorporated to document the fascinating story and history of chocolate. This book features fifty-seven essays representing research activities and contributions from more than 100 members of the group. These contributors draw from their backgrounds in such diverse fields as anthropology, archaeology, biochemistry, culinary arts, gender studies, engineering, history, linguistics, nutrition, and paleography. The result is an unparalleled, scholarly examination of chocolate, beginning with ancient pre-Columbian civilizations and ending with twenty-first-century reports.

Here is a sampling of some of the fascinating topics explored inside the book:

  • Ancient gods and Christian celebrations: chocolate and religion

  • Chocolate and the Boston smallpox epidemic of 1764

  • Chocolate pots: reflections of cultures, values, and times

  • Pirates, prizes, and profits: cocoa and early American east coast trade

  • Blood, conflict, and faith: chocolate in the southeast and southwest borderlands of North America

  • Chocolate in France: evolution of a luxury product

  • Development of concept maps and the chocolate research portal

Not only does this book offer careful documentation, it also features new and previously unpublished information and interpretations of chocolate history. Moreover, it offers a wealth of unusual and interesting facts and folklore about one of the world's favorite foods.


Contributors: Names and Affiliations.

Forward (Kenneth Kiple).

Preface (Louis Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro).


Figures (Master List).

Tables (Master List).


1. Uto-Aztecan Languages: Geographic Distribution.

2. Mexico and Central America.

3. California: Baja.

4. California: Alta.

5. Northeastern South America.

6. Iberian Peninsula. A Mosaic of Languages.


Part 1: Beginnings and Religion. Introduction to the Theme (Louis Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro).

Chapter 1: Cacao Use in Yucatán Among the Prehispanic Maya (Gabriella Vail).

Chapter 2: Tempest in a Chocolate Pot. Origins of Mesoamerican Words for Chocolate (Martha Macri).

Chapter 3: Ancient Gods and Christian Celebrations. Chocolate and Religion (Louis Grivetti and Beatriz Cabezon).

Chapter 4: Chocolate and Sinful Behaviors. Inquisition Testimonies (Beatriz Cabezon and Louis Grivetti).

Chapter 5: Nation of Nowhere. Jewish Role in Colonial American Chocolate History (Celia Shapiro).


Part 2: Medicine and Recipes. Introduction to the Theme (Louis Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro).

Chapter 6: Medicinal Chocolate in New Spain, Western Europe, and North America (Louis Grivetti).

Chapter 7: Chocolate and the Boston Smallpox Epidemic of 1764 (Louis Grivetti).

Chapter 8: From Bean to Beverage. Historical Chocolate Recipes (Louis Grivetti).

Chapter 9: Imparting Dietary Advice and Moral Values Through 19th Century North American Cookbooks (Deanna Pucciarelli).


Part 3: Serving and Advertising. Introduction to the Theme (Louis Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro).

Chapter 10: Chocolate Preparation and Serving Vessels in Early North America (Amanda Lange).

Chapter 11: Silver Chocolate Pots of Colonial Boston (Gerald Ward).

Chapter 12: Is it a Chocolate Pot? Chocolate and Its Accoutrements in France from Cookbook to Collectible (Suzanne Perkins).

Chapter 13: Chocolate Pots. Reflections of Cultures, Values, and Times (Margaret Swisher).

Chapter 14: Role of Trade Cards in Marketing Chocolate During the Late 19th Century (Virginia Westbrook).

Chapter 15: Chocolate Advertising Posters. Reflections of Cultures, Values, and Times (Margaret Swisher).

Chapter 16: Chocolate at World’s Fairs, 1851-1964 (Nicholas Westbrook).


Part 4: Economics, Education, and Crime. Introduction to the Theme (Louis Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro).

Chapter 17: Pirates, Prizes and Profits. Cocoa and Early American East Coast Trade (Kurt Richter and Nghiem Ta).

Chapter 18: How Much Is That Cocoa In The Window? Cocoa's Position in the Early American Marketplace (Kurt Richter and Nghiem Ta).

Chapter 19: "C" is for Chocolate. Chocolate and Cacao as Educational Themes in 18th Century North America (Louis Grivetti).

Chapter 20: Chocolate, Crime, and the Courts. Selected English Trial Documents (1693-1834) (Louis Grivetti).

Chapter 21: Dark Chocolate: Chocolate and Crime in North America and Elsewhere (Louis Grivetti).


Part 5: Colonial and Federal Eras (Part 1). Introduction to the Theme (Louis Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro).

Chapter 22: Chocolate and Other Colonial Beverages (Frank Clark).

Chapter 23: Chocolate Production and Uses in 17th and 18th Century North America (Jim Gay).

Chapter 24: Chocolate’s Early History in Canada (Catherine Macpherson).

Chapter 25: A Necessary Luxury: Chocolate in Louisbourg and New France (Ann-Marie Jonah, Ruby Fougère, and Heidi Moses).

Chapter 26: Chocolate Manufacturing and Marketing in Massachusetts (1700-1920) (Anne Blaschke).

Chapter 27. Boston Chocolate. Newspaper Articles and Advertisements (1700-1825) (Louis Grivetti).


Part 6: Colonial and Federal Eras (Part 2). Introduction to the Theme (Louis Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro).

Chapter 28: Dutch Cacao Trade in New Netherlands during the 17th and 18th Centuries (Peter Rose).

Chapter 29: Chocolate Consumption and Production in New York’s Upper Hudson River Valley (1730-1830) (Douglas McCombs).

Chapter 30: Chocolate Makers in 18th Century Pennsylvania (Jim Gay).

Chapter 31: Breakfasting on Chocolate: Chocolate in Military Life on the Northern Frontier (1750-1780) (Nicholas Westbrook, Christopher Fox, and Ann McCarty).

Chapter 32: Chocolate and North American Whaling Voyages (Christopher Kelly).


Part 7: Southeast/Southwest Borderlands and California. Introduction to the Theme (Louis Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro).

Chapter 33: Blood, Conflict, and Faith. Chocolate in the Southeast and Southwest Borderlands of North America. Spanish and Mexican Periods (1641-1833) (Beatriz Cabezon, Patricia Barriga, and Louis Grivetti).

Chapter 34: Sailors, Soldiers, and Padres. California Chocolate (1542-1840) (Louis Grivetti, Patricia Barriga, and Beatriz Cabezon).

Chapter 35: From Gold Bar to Chocolate Bar: California Chocolate from the Gold Rush Era to the Early 20th Century (Bertram Gordon).


Part 8: Caribbean and South America. Introduction to the Theme (Louis Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro).

Chapter 36: Caribbean Cocoa: Planting and Production (Janet Momsen and Pamela Richardson).

Chapter 37: Caribbean Chocolate: Preparation, Consumption, and Trade (Janet Momsen and Pamela Richardson).

Chapter 38: History of Cacao Cultivation and Chocolate Consumption in Cuba (Niurka Nuñez González and Estrella González Noriega).

Chapter 39: History of Cacao and Chocolate in Cuban Literature, Games, Music, and Culinary Arts (Niurka Nuñez González and Estrella González Noriega).

Chapter 40: Portuguese Colonial Cacao Cultivation in Brazil and West Africa (c. 1580-1912) (Timothy Walker).


Part 9: Europe and Asia. Introduction to the Theme (Louis Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro).

Chapter 41: Cure or Confection? Chocolate in the Portuguese Royal Court and Colonial Hospitals (1580-1830) (Timothy Walker).

Chapter 42: Chocolate in France. Evolution of a Luxury Product (Bertram Gordon).

Chapter 43: Commerce, Colonies, and Cacao: Chocolate in England from Introduction to Industrialization (Bertram Gordon).

Chapter 44: Ambergris, Emperors, and Export Ware. Early Reports of Chinese Chocolate (Bertram Gordon).


Part 10: Production, Manufacturing, and Contemporary Activities. Introduction to the Theme (Louis Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro).

Chapter 45: Cacao, Haciendas, and the Jesuits. Letters from New Spain (1693-1751) (Beatriz Cabezon).

Chapter 46: From Stone Metates to Steel Mills. The Evolution of Chocolate Manufacturing (Rodney Snyder, Bradley Olsen, and Laura Brindle).

Chapter 47: Adulteration. The Dark World of "Dirty" Chocolate (Laura Brindle and Bradley Olsen).

Chapter 48: Making Colonial Era Chocolate. The Colonial Williamsburg Experience (Jim Gay and Frank Clark).

Chapter 49: American Heritage Chocolate. Development of a Good Idea (Eric Whitacre, William Bellody and Rodney Snyder).

Chapter 50: Twenty-first Century Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Medicinal Use of Chocolate (Deanna Pucciarelli and James Barrett).


Part 11: Fieldwork, Methodology, and Interpretation. Introduction to the Theme (Louis Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro).

Chapter 51: Symbols from Ancient Times. Paleography and the San Augustine Chocolate Saga (Beatriz Cabezon and Louis Grivetti).

Chapter 52: Digging for Chocolate in Charleston and Savannah (Laura Brindle and Bradley Olsen).

Chapter 53: Management of Cacao and Chocolate Data. Development of Concept Maps and the Chocolate Research Portal (Matthew Lange).

Chapter 54: North American Base Metal Chocolate Pots. Context and Interpretation (Phil Dunning and Christopher Fox).

Chapter 55: Searching American Civil War Archives. Blue and Gray Chocolate (Louis Grivetti).

Chapter 56: Chocolate Futures: Promising Areas for Further Research (Louis Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro).

Chapter 57: Epilogue: Synthesis and Celebration (Howard Shapiro and Louis Grivetti).


Appendix 1: Lexicon and Abbreviations (Team contributions).

Appendix 2: Archives, Libraries, and Museums Consulted (Team contributions).

Appendix 3: Common Sense Rules for Working in Archives, Libraries, and Museums (Bertram Gordon and Louis Grivetti).

Appendix 4: Digitized Resources Consulted (Team contributions).

Appendix 5: Saint Augustine, Florida, 1642. Chocolate Distribution List: Names, Occupations, and Quantities Received (Beatriz Cabezon translation).

Appendix 6: Boston Chocolate (1700-1825): People, Occupations, and Addresses (Louis Grivetti).

Appendix 7: The Ninety and Nine. A Selection of Notable Chocolate-Associated Quotations, 1502-1953, (Team contributions).

Appendix 8: Chocolate Timeline: c. 4,000 BCE - 2008 CE (Team contributions).

Appendix 9: Pre-1800 Cacao/Chocolate Publications (Axel Borg and Adam Siegel).

Appendix 10: Nutritional Properties of Cocoa (Robert Rucker).

Appendix 11: Project Personnel and Affiliations (1998-2008).


"Food studies scholars will appreciate the final chapter, which lays out promising areas for future research. The content of this book is deep, rich, sometimes dark, and emphatically not to be digested in a single sitting; rather, it needs to be slowly savored over time in small servings." (CHOICE, August 2009)

"Provides lots of chocolate-related trivia to introduce at your next party." (inform, February 2010)

"This book provides detailed information and interpretations of chocolate history and a wealth of unusual and interesting facts and folklore about one of the world's favorite foods." (Chemistry World, October 2009)

"Eleven appendixes, including a comprehensive chocolate time line and a guide to library research etiquette; an index (not seen); and 64 pages of color plates complete this impressive textbook. Recommended for academic libraries and large public libraries." (Library Journal, April 2009)

"Each essay has extensive references and often numerous endnotes; these are academic articles intended for a scholarly readership." (The Gastronomer's Bookshelf, April 2009)

"Chocolate: History, Culture and Heritage is a scholarly tome, full of articles on chocolate's connection to anthropology, agriculture, religion, ethics, art, medicine and technology." (New York Times, March, 2009)

"A collection of 56 essays edited by Louis E. Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro, which traces the confection's path from pre-Columbian times to its worldwide proliferation in both culinary and medical uses in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa." (, February 2009)