My undergraduate BS was in social sciences with a concentration in history. When it comes to chocolate, I suppose everyone has a history. Mine began in my childhood as my German-Dutch mother baked chocolate chip cookies. Mom made all kinds of sweets. Every Christmas she made a dozen kinds of candies, including old style fudge, the kind you cooked with a thermometer. That deep intense chocolate rocked my soul. Yet, her most common contribution to my chocolate addiction was baking 20 dozen chocolate chip cookies each week. She would be arrested for this today, but she packed six cookies in our lunch for school each day. More cookies were consumed when we got home after school. So, you can understand how I became such a lover of chocolate. That is not including other chocolate imbibes such as chocolate milk, chocolate shakes,  and chocolate ice cream. Still to this day I find chocolate chip cookies to be my preference over most desserts.

Yet chocolate has its own history. Thanks to Colby Sturm for the gift of The History of Chocolate, by Paule Cuvelier. Cuvelier is President of Maison Debauve & Gallais, the chocolate company at the heart of the French chocolate tradition in Paris. I find it interesting that the seed of the Cocoa Tree has to ferment before its seeds transform into chocolate. Perhaps originally discovered by accident, it became the drink of the Mayan kings and called the Drink of the Gods. Slowly the cocoa bean made its way to Spain with the discovery of the Americas. Slowly again its introduction to the European palate, and then finally to America. Thanks to Sulpiee Debauve and his nephew, Jean-Baptiste Gallais, who transformed chocolate from a drink known only to the Court, into the creamy confections the world has come to love as chocolate. D&G, my hat is off to you! Viva les chocolats de France! And thank God for South America, which gave the world coffee and cocoa.