Why Did You Make Chocolate Boring?

Happy coincidence or cruel punishment?

I was at the International Museum of Folk Art in Santa Fe (ahhhh, more tomorrow) and there was a lecture on the history of chocolate. Mom would disown me if I didn’t go, but I took a seat in the back, on an aisle in case it was dull.

IMG_0023

It was spectacularly dull, but he lured me with the promise of four kinds of drinking chocolate after the lecture, so in the interim, I checked Facebook. A lot.

How Does One Make Chocolate Boring?

It was promising to see the lecturer’s professional title: Chocolate Historian and Artisan Chocolatier.  I mean, really!

Then there’s the title of the presentation: A Brief Treatise on Theobrama, Cacao, Chocolate, MesoAmerican, Spanish, and Colonial New Mexican History.

  • There is nothing “brief” with a title like that.
  • I don’t know what a “treatise” is and should have taken that as a sign to run.
  • If this man can make chocolate boring, imagine what it’s like to talk with him about, well, anything….

My Version of a Brief Treatise

Cacao trees only grow in the tropics along the Equator. Like coffee or wine, there are varieties than influence the flavor, and so, too, does the environment in which the trees are grown. The fruit grows on the trunk, not just the branches–impressive. And it’s about the length of a football, but not the girth.

 

cacao

Chocolate was “domesticated” (like wolves into dogs?) in Southern Mexico in 1900 BC/BCE. The people considered it sacred and a gift of the gods. They were sooo right. They made chocolate as a drink! When pouring it, it created a froth, which was believed to be the essence of the gods. What froth do we have now with chocolate? Whipped cream and marshmallows.

The early beliefs were that there is no difference between chocolate and your blood and heart. Again, they were soooo right. It was given as gifts of love, and used to initiate trade and treaties. First they drank chocolate, then they got down to business.

The Flavor of Early Chocolate

Sweetened with honey or agave juice (cactus), it was still quite bitter. Add chiles and you’ve got serious spice.

During the Inquisition, chocolate was considered the source of unruly and lascivious behavior among women. Alrighty then.

Perhaps that’s because everyone was addicted to it. While it has little caffeine, it does have two other stimulants. Emailing during the lecture, my friend Jef commented, “Um sir, I thoought chocolate was a stimulant – should your lecture be of the same level?”

The Health Benefits of Chocolate

Evidently this is a lecture in its own right, but I prodded him to share just two. It’s good for folks with asthma and bronchial issues as it opens the lungs. Dark chocolate (boo) lowers blood pressure. And it’s a natural antidepressant–didn’t we all already know that one?

A Taste of Drinking Chocolate

Blech.

There were four to er, enjoy.

  1. Chalky with a chile kick
  2. Smooth with almost a vinegar taste.
  3. It was so bad I didn’t pay attention. Plus I had just eaten a roasted cacao bean. They should have water waiting for you. Bitter doesn’t begin to describe it.
  4. Made with flowers. It tasted like the “perfume” I used to make as a girl in the Barbie Perfume Maker 

barbie perfume maker

 

So, note to self. Just because it’s chocolate doesn’t mean you need to stay.

***

Please share a happy chocolate experience to help me recover from this one.

Disclosure: Thank you to Santa Fe Tourism for the complimentary ticket to the museum.

8 Responses

02.12.13

Just three words: Marzipan Chocolate Rugelach.

Hope that helped 🙂

Michelle – OMG. I forgot. How could I forgot. I’ll be dreaming of it now!

02.12.13

The title sounds like he is an academic. My favorite chocolate is dark with chili spices. What is your favorite kind?

Jef – that’s your favorite bc your partner is an incredible cook. And you lived in Spain. And you’re spicy.
Mine is milk chocolate with caramel, or nougat, or peanut butter, or hazelnuts, or…

02.12.13

My happy chocolate experience: when I was struggling with a vegetable garden, it was a pickup truck full of horse manure. (Well, it looked like chocolate…)

02.12.13

And I forgot: in Santa Fe, be sure to see the church with the spiral staircase. It’s awesome. Literally awesome, not the way the kids say it. (As in, I’m having pizza for lunch. Awesome!)

02.12.13

Sea salt chocolate. I had some recently where the salt was inside the dark chocolate. Crunchy. Yum.

02.12.13

“Then there’s the title of the presentation: A Brief Treatise on Theobrama, Cacao, Chocolate, MesoAmerican, Spanish, and Colonial New Mexican History.

There is nothing “brief” with a title like that.

If this man can make chocolate boring, imagine what it’s like to talk with him about, well, anything….”

HAHAHHAAHAHAHA!

Shame about the hot chocolate being yucky! Booo!

Leave Your Response

* Name, Email, Comment are Required

This is ad number one.

Resources

These links may be helpful with logistics for your trip. I may not have used them, but we all want to promote our sites!

HomeForHome