Monday, 22 November 2010
Bex's Bookshelves: The True History of Chocolate, by Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe
My brother bought me this book for my birthday a few years ago and, being most naughty, I have only just got round to reading it. It's dry and academic in style. So just my cup of cocoa. The bits of the history that most grabbed my attention were:
1. In certain Mayan marriage ceremonies the husband gave the wife some new skirts (hum, ok) and 5 grains of cacao (Yeah! I might have bothered to do the decent thing with this kind of inducement).
2. By the end of the 17th century it's estimated only 10% of the original Indian population of the Americas had survived the holocaust (caused by Old World epidemic diseases and mistreatment) of the Spanish Conquests.
3. Milk chocolate wasn't invented until 1879.
4. Milton Hershey's middle name was Snavely.
The book ended on a bittersweet note for me with the introduction of Maya Gold chocolate by Green & Black's.
Green and Black's... (*heartfelt sigh*). How I miss you.
The French have not evolved far enough to start importing Green and Black's. And they call themselves civilized... chah.