Interpreters to share secrets of chocolate

Staff writer

Few things are as timeless as the love of chocolate — even in Colonial Williamsburg, it was one of America’s favorite sweets.

Of course, in the colonial era, it was a bit more complicated than buying a candy bar from the corner store — like so many other things in Colonial Williamsburg, even chocolate had to be made by hand, and its use and methods are the focal point of Colonial Williamsburg’s “Secrets of the Chocolate Maker” historical interpretation.

In a statement from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the chocolate maker showcase was one of several seasonal “Historic Trades” demonstrations that park visitors can expect to see.

“Colonial Williamsburg is home to the largest and most diverse museum-operated trades program in the world, and each of the program’s nearly 90 artisans is a full-time professional in his or her trade, in addition to being an able interpreter,” said Jim Bradley, a publicist with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

“Secrets of the Chocolate Maker” shows how chocolate was used in 18th-century. This includes a focus on how chocolate was made from cocoa beans — a process that involves roasting, shelling, crushing and grinding the cocoa beans — and showing several dishes and recipes it was used for.

Like many other living exhibits at Colonial Williamsburg, this presentation of colonial-era chocolate-making highlights how even something we consider simple today — like satisfying your sweet tooth — was a labor-intensive process that involved open flame, use of a mortar and pestle, and a precise mixture of then-rare spices.

Want to Go?

“Secrets of the Chocolate Maker” will be every Tuesday in June, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Governor’s Palace Kitchen. No special event tickets are required, and admission is included with general admission tickets to Colonial Williamsburg.

For more information or ticket reservations, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit ColonialWilliamsburg.com.

Sean CW Korsgaard can be reached at 757-968-1529, by email sean.korsgaard@vagazette.com, and on Twitter @SCWKorsgaard.

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