College of Arts and Sciences | Chocolate: Food of the Gods
E104 | 11059 | Royce

9:30AM - 10:45AM TR

Cacao (Theobroma cacao), whose name means "food of the gods,"
enjoyed a long history in the great civilizations of Mesoamerica. It
was immortalized in art and iconography and traded as a luxury good
long before it became the New World's gift to the Old. Europeans
quickly became as captivated by it as the Maya and the Aztec,
introducing the custom of chocolate parties; drinking chocolate in
place of daily tea; and consuming it in the form of bars, pastilles,
as ices, and as an ingredient in main dishes and desserts. It moved
from a luxury item consumed by the aristocracy to the masses in the
solid forms created by Van Houten, Lindt, Cadbury, and Hershey. Now
it has once again become a "luxury" item in the form of designer
chocolate and Fair Trade chocolate, while it remains one of the most
popular "food groups" with the continued and expanded production and
consumption of Hershey bars, Cadbury biscuits, and hundreds of other

Some of the topics in this class will include the history of
chocolate, its production and marketing, its appearance in
literature and art, the psychopharmacology of chocolate, the social
life of chocolate, its preparation, the romantic and erotic aspects
of chocolate, the great chocolate producers (Hershey's, Cadbury's,
Lindt), the fine art of chocolate (luxury chocolate producers), Fair
Trade chocolate, and by-products of chocolate such as cocoa butter
and cocoa mulch.

Students will be able to choose independent projects according to
their interests, including hands-on activities with local producers,
vendors, and preparers of chocolate.