Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Tag

Schivelbusch — Tastes of Paradise   Leave a comment

This book by cultural historian Wolfgang Schivelbusch has a subtitle “A Social History of Spices, Stimulants, and Intoxicants”, that says it all. Schivelbusch, concentrating on the modern era, traces the life histories of Europe’s favorite intoxicants (spices, coffee, hot chocolate, alcohol, and tobacco) and shows that their popularity was not universal but rather a function of both social class and economic realities. Particularly relevant to Italy is the story of coffee’s arrival through Venetian pharmacies and its sanctioning by papal bull after a brief controversy about it being the “wine of the heretics.” An excellent read, the text is supplemented by a large number of period images. Translated by David Jacobson. (Vintage, 1993). ZN

Posted November 6, 2010 by zachmon in Uncategorized

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Moss and Badenoch – Chocolate: A Global History   Leave a comment

Another in the Reaktion series of food books, this work by Sarah Moss and Alexander Badenoch looks at chocolate from Meso-American origins to twenty-first-century eating habits. Italy is only touched on very briefly – a chocolate sorbet recipe from seventeenth-century Naples – but the European panorama is impressive. The authors have no fear of wading into disputes and wielding common sense to cut through scholarly Gordian knots and highlights include Nietzche and, the demystification of the Marquis de Sade’s chocolate obsession! (Reaktion 2009) SY

Posted November 5, 2010 by zachmon in Uncategorized

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