Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jews And Chocolate - Deborah Prinz Talk

It turns out that Jews played an important role in spreading chocolate from Spain to the rest of Europe.  It first came from the so-called New World to Spain after Columbus and about the same time as the Spanish Inquisition when Jews were being persecuted in Spain.  As Jews fled Spain for Holland and other European countries more friendly to Jews, some of them brought chocolate and the process for making it from the beans.

So I learned at this lecture last week that friends invited us to.

It felt a bit like a Trekkie conference as the speaker talked about her Choco-dar (like gay-dar, but here it refers to knowing there is chocolate somewhere nearby) and other confessions of chocoholic obsessions which many in the audience appeared to understand well.  Don't get me wrong, I like a good dark chocolate, and I've been known to chip away at a chocolate bar piece by piece, or eat way to many brownies.  But I wouldn't go to the store just to get some chocolate, let alone go to Europe to visit special chocolate shops.

But Rabbi Prinz did. 

At the end, everyone got a piece of Barton's chocolate.  It was very chewy and satisfying.  Here's the link to the Barton's chocolate.  And they're kosher for Passover.

And then Rabbi Prinz then signed books.

Rabbi Deborah Prinz, Jews On the Chocolate Trail. 

Sorry, the book cover's a little blurred.  The person holding it moved - she was waiting in line to get it signed. 

This is much better than writing about the redistricting board. 


  1. Essential history lecture, then! Chocolate fondue. Ambrosia.

    Quakers (Religious Society of Friends) to which Eugene and I now hold membership in Britain have had a strong involvement with chocolate as well.

    Cadbury, Rowntree and Fry were some of the leaders in the chocolate industry in England. None of these companies are Quaker-owned now, but in their day, these families advocated for improved work conditions, housing, social welfare, education of women and children, prison reform, abolition of the slave trade. Well, the list goes on.

    I grew up knowing good people of faith because of my father's work as a pastor -- a good man doing important cultural work, really.

    Still, it took struggle to get where I comfortably decline 'true believer' requirements of faith. I think chocolate helped. And you're right, talking chocolate is better than talking politics or religion.

  2. Yes, the Quaker connection came up in the lecture too.


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