Seeing as it is American Chocolate Week, we here at the Loyola University New Orleans Special Collections & Archives are offering a glimpse into the history and uses of chocolate as explained by the oldest manufacturer of chocolate in the United States, Walter Baker & Co.
Founded in 1780, in Dorchester Massachusetts, Walter Baker & Co. chocolate was sold with a money back guarantee and famously known for its trademark adaptation of the Jean-Étienne Liotard painting, The La Belle Chocolatiere, (The Chocolate Girl).
–Liotard’s original painting, above.–
–An early Walter Baker’s & Co. advertisement featuring the La Belle Chocolatiere trademark.–
–Women dressed in the style of “The Chocolate Girl” as demonstrators for how to make cocoa.–
Cocoa and chocolate; a short history of their production and use, written by James M. Bugbee and published by Baker in a revised edition in 1917, starts with an introduction to the cacao tree and it’s fruit
–Early depiction of cacao (cocoa) production in Mesoamerica.–
–The cacao plant.–
And follows with the methods of how it is cultivated.
And the processing of these pods into chocolate:
Followed by supporting science persuading the reader that chocolate is “a perfect food” and “the most harmless of our fashionable drinks”.
And I would think most of Library Lagniappe readers would agree that chocolate is pretty perfect.
And here is a chocolate themed musical lagniappe for you from The Undertones: