Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage.

Chapter 9

Author: Deanna Pucciarelli

Title: Chocolate as Medicine: Imparting Dietary Advice and Moral Values through 19th Century American Cookbooks

The objective of this essay is to demonstrate the impact dietary advice had on the general public in America as told through 19th century cookbooks. Did 19th century American women as primary caretakers of the family's health practices adhere to the medicinal theory of hot/cold, wet/dry that was popular during this period? The answer is yes, and the evidence can be found in 19th century North American cookbooks. Further, within sections titled "Cookery for the Sick and Convalesce" cookbooks are a means for filtering dietary advice to the general public. More than health advice can be found within cookbooks, however. Upon close analysis of these cookbooks the moral code that women of this era ascribed to and preached is dispersed between the recipes. With chapter titles such as "Health of the Mind" and "Running a Household" these books provide the context in which we understand women's, and as an extension society's, perceived cultural norms. Women during this era had little public voice; publishing cookbooks provided the venue to assert their views. Chocolate consumption as medicine and later as confection is evidenced throughout 19th century cookbooks. While during the mid 19th century the beverage titled chocolate or cocoa is served to the infirmed, during the turn of the 20th century chocolate production evolves into the solid form we know today. Interestingly, it is during this time frame that chocolate becomes less of a health tonic and more of a treat advertised towards women and children. The use of chocolate to treat disease is clearly demonstrated throughout the 19th century and into early part of the 20th century. The exact demarcation between medicinal chocolate and confection is less clear, however. Perhaps the addition of milk and increased levels of sugar to solid chocolate influenced the perception of chocolate as medicine. Or, the shift from humoral medicine to chemistry-based diagnosis and treatment forever influenced the populace's chocolate consumption patterns. What we do know is that in reviewing cookbooks from the 19th century we gain an understanding of the medicinal use of chocolate and we get to hear a voice otherwise suppressed.

Chapter 10

Author: Amanda Lange

Title: Chocolate Preparation and Serving Vessels in Early North America.

The equipage for drinking chocolate in America can be roughly divided according to media: silver, base metals (brass, copper, iron, pewter), and ceramic wares.  This chapter will explore from a chronological perspective imported ceramics for the service of chocolate in America. Early American potteries, concentrating mainly on utilitarian redware and stoneware, produced little in the way of refined ceramics for the service of expensive drinking chocolate. Most often these vessels were imported from England, China, France, and later Bavaria (what would become Germany). Using probate inventories, account books, pattern books, objects with American histories, trade catalogues and pictorial sources, this chapter will illustrate what types of ceramic vessels were used by Americans for the service of chocolate from 1700 to 1900, and how these forms changed over time, Prominent Americans such as General Henry Knox, George and Martha Washington, and Thomas Jefferson are well known for their passion for chocolate drinking, and many of their original objects still survive. These forms would include chocolate pots, chocolate cups and saucers, and chocolate stands, as well as the evolution of entire porcelain sets for chocolate drinking popular in the late nineteenth century.
La Chocolatada, attributed to the workshop of Llorenç Passoles (Barcelona, 1710). The mural entitled The Chocolate Party illustrates an aristocratic gathering. It leaves no doubt that chocolate remained fundamental to elite sociability in the eighteenth century, and it underscores how the beverage's aficionados continued to prize the foam on top, as the scene displays the gentlemen, rather than their servants, engaged in frothing the chocolate. Reproduced courtesy of Museu de Ceràmica, Barcelona, Spain.


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