Posted by Rabbi Debbie Prinz
December brings the annual heartfelt and heated Christmas/ Chanukah–dilemma conversations. In my 30 years as congregational rabbi, I convened many meetings about Chanukah pride and counseled interfaith families on settling their differences. Recently I began to realize that these may best dissolve into the glinty, chocalatey geld for St. Nick’s and the gelt for Chanukah. I began to wonder about December’s chocolate when my husband Mark and I observed students collecting coins for the St. Nicholas feast in Belgium.
Money and Chanukah go way back. In ancient Israel striking, minting, and distributing coins expressed Chanukah’s message of freedom. After the rededication of the ancient Jerusalem Temple, Syria’s King Antiochus VII said to Simon Maccabee, “I turn over to you the right to make your own stamp for coinage for your country” (1 Maccabees 15: 6). Eventually customs evolved to giving coins at Chanukah. The word Chanukah, came to be associated with the Hebrew word for education, chinukh. That gelt supported Jewish learning. In the days of the Chasidic leader, the Ba’al Shem Tov (1698–1760), rabbis often traveled to distant villages to give instruction to impoverished and illiterate Jews, generally refusing payment. However, at Chanukah, the instructors accepted coins and food as tokens of gratitude. Chanukah gelt paid for Jewish education.
St. Nick’s Coins Save Family
I realized that the St. Nicholas tradition we happened upon in chocolate-suffused Belgium may explain Chanukah gelt, or the other way around. As we savored Belgium, we learned that St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sweets, journeyed distances to reward children with gold-covered chocolate coins. The festival associated with his birthday, December 6, 270 (approximately), has been relished in Western Europe since the thirteenth century. One of the several St. Nicholas Golden Legend miracle stories, written in 1275 by Jacobus de Voragine, archbishop of Genoa, records that Nicholas tossed bags of gold coins to an impoverished father in order to provide his daughters with dowries, thus saving them from prostitution. Today, rituals related to the celebration of the feast day of St. Nicholas in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and the United States use gold-covered chocolate, geld. Youngsters collect chocolate coins from their shoes on the morning of December 6, following the previous night’s visit by St. Nicholas, or as the Dutch call him, Sinterklaas (later Santa Claus).
St. Nick’s geld surprisingly and sweetly flows right into Chanukah’s gelt. These Christian and Jewish golden coin stories, each originating from the Mediterranean area, each of them centuries old, each with inspiring accounts of courage and liberation, also indulge and nurture a love of chocolate. These Jewish and Christian customs may melt some of those December dilemmas on this fork of the chocolate trail.
Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz’s book, On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao, published by Jewish Lights, makes a great Chanukah gift (bundle it with gelt). Used in adult study, school settings, book clubs and chocolate tastings, it also contains delicious recipes. Rabbi Prinz speaks around the world about chocolate and religion, including in the LA area over the weekend of December 6-8, 2013. She blogs at The Huffington Post, The Jew and the Carrot, The Jewish Journal and at Jews-OnTheChocolateTrail.org. Lesson plans for teaching about Chanukah and chocolate may be found at her website.
12.1.13 at 7:02 am |
10.28.13 at 5:18 pm |
9.21.13 at 5:00 pm | Little did I realize when working On the. . .
9.1.13 at 10:50 am | This version of Mexican hot chocolate roots the. . .
8.6.13 at 3:55 am | Enjoy this Israeli version of birthday cake for. . .
6.8.13 at 7:17 pm | Chocolate Recollections for Father's Day
12.1.13 at 7:02 am | (6)
10.28.13 at 5:18 pm | (3)
6.8.13 at 7:17 pm | Chocolate Recollections for Father's Day (1)
October 28, 2013 | 5:18 pm
Posted by Rabbi Debbie Prinz
My ambivalence starts with my father's rants against Halloween's ghoulish pagan and Christian base of saint worship. Admittedly, despite my genetic inner Halloween gremlin, my children enjoyed creative costuming and goodie hoarding. I confess that I chomped a few myself. Their best Halloween costume saw them wrapped in an oversized M & M's bag. That year they "had their candy and ate it too."
This week's chocolate abundance raises ethical questions as sticky as a chocolate morsel in the sun. How do we reconcile its gluttony with the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) "for the sin we have committed before You through food and drink al cheit shechatanu l'fanecha b'maachal uv'mishteh). The one ... "who has acquired the virtue of moderation will eat the proper types and proper amounts of food without any effort," advised the great physician and philosopher, Maimonides.
Chocolate sometimes does not mix well with Judaism's values and ethics, particularly pursuing honest and fair labor practices such as oshek, literally, the prohibition against "withholding wages" or "monetary oppression." I wonder how we justify our chocolate pleasure, entertainment, and calorie intake when it grows from the psychological and physical torture endured by thousands of child slaves harvesting the cocoa beans needed to satiate the developed world's chocolate addictions. "If you eat a chocolate kiss for Halloween, the cocoa almost certainly came from West Africa and it almost certainly involved child labor. Some of it is coerced labor, and some of it is children working on family farms," according to Illinois Wesleyan University's Dr. William Munro. Approximately ten to twelve thousand children, some of them slaves, work on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast or Ghana. Imprisoned at night, denied schooling, forced to work long hours, they often suffer from untreated wounds after beatings. A human rights association estimates that child slaves are found on at least 90 percent of the Ivory Coast's cocoa plantations. Over half of the world's chocolate may be defiled by such cruel treatment of children. This shame should melt away.
I learned about the 2001 Harkin-Engel Protocol when I was researching my book, On the Chocolate Trail. Also known as the Cocoa Protocol, written by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY), it sought to provide certification to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. Eight chocolate multinationals have signed on to the protocol, including Guittard, Nestlé, Hershey, M&M/Mars, and Callebaut. However, the protocol has not been fully implemented and the initial deadline has passed. International conglomerates such as Cadbury (Mondelēz), Hershey's, and Godiva (Yıldız Holding,) "bulk" their beans, meaning that they buy from middlemen and do not identify how much originates in Ghana or the Ivory Coast. They do create programs to assist local farmers.
To provide fair compensation to cocoa farmers and to avoid child slavery, several fair trade certification systems establish a minimum price above market value for cocoa. Chocolate producers such as Divine, Equal Exchange, and others claim such certification. Other chocolate makers sidestep the fair trade certification costs, claiming that their farmers benefit more from direct contact and superior financial arrangements. Sean Askinosie of Askinosie Chocolate, shares ten percent of the profits with his farmers in Mexico and Ecuador. Taza Chocolate labels itself "ethically traded," incentivizing quality, visiting farmers at least once a year to inspect workplace standards and conducting its finances with each farmer transparently and publicly. Companies such as these do not buy beans from Ivory Coast or Ghana. To avoid chocolate spoiled by exploited child labor and slavery, a discerning chocolate lover might purchase bars of single-origin beans (from a specific plantation, region or country).
This week Halloween's demons might cause us to wrestle with chocolate purchases that harm the environment, local populations, laborers and most especially children. Call me a Halloween scrooge. Instead of a hollow treat basket, I would prefer to be hallowing my life and the world around me.
September 21, 2013 | 5:00 pm
Posted by Rabbi Debbie Prinz
Little did I realize when working On the Chocolate Trail, how eerie the connections between Jews and chocolate might become. My choco-dar (internal radar for chocolate experiences) led me to a hauntingly personal story.
In 2009, a very kind scholar, learning of my chocolate interests, mentioned a Dutch archival collection of a Jewish scholar who had researched chocolate. I deferred tracking it then because plenty of material in English in American archives and libraries inundated me. The thought of yet another archive, in Jerusalem no less, and worse, in Dutch almost pushed me to forgo chocolate forever. Though I longed to sample the tidbits hidden there I expected that at some point that I would contend with the collection. I resigned myself that On the Chocolate Trail would not capture every story. This would just have to be an add-on to the trail.
Finally, with the On the Chocolate Trail about to be sent off to the printer, I could begin to explore more, especially since we were to be in Jerusalem anyway in 2012. I quickly scanned the online listing at The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People and found that the researcher’s name was Isak Prins, the Dutch variant of my last name. Our family tree does not yet include Holland and maybe it will. As I glanced at the substantial list of the Prins holdings, I speculated about whether this would be rewarding venture or not. Soon, Mark and I were trekking down a windy, hillside pathway, to a barely marked caravan, on an isolated corner of the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University (Jerusalem) to survey the Isak Prins collection of Joden en chocola, Jews and chocolate.
There we examined the Prins collection of chocolate wrappers, publications, photos and notes obsessively scratched on slips of paper. Deep in those 141 boxes we read that Prins wrote the following: “the present writer has written a book on ‘Jews and Chocolate – Explorations in Cultural History in the Diaspora’ and a history of Israel chocolate making is in preparation as the second part of the work.” (The Jerusalem Post of March 1, 1957). The flush I felt was a mix of surprise, disappointment, embarrassment, and jealousy that On the Chocolate Trail may not have been the first book about Jews and chocolate, as I had thought. And, happily, it also meant that there could be more stories to explore.
So began a hunt for the book. Since Prins had written to Brill Publishers, I contacted them. No, the acquisitions editor politely replied, they had no record of publishing such a book. I checked on line. Nothing. I queried libraries in America, Holland and Israel, including the HUC-JIR, the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, the Special Collections at the University of Amsterdam, and the National Library of Israel. No record of a book or a manuscript.
Then this past April my blog registered a comment from a distant cousin of Prins, a man named Henry Joshua, who confided that as a child he and his mother visited Prins at his home in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Bayit Vegan in 1958. Henry recalled that Prins mentioned the book he was writing about chocolate. Joshua clarified, “Prins died in 1968 without finishing his book.” Also in April, I contacted Prins’ grandsons, David and Daniel. They were completely unaware of their grandfather’s research about Jews and chocolate and knew nothing of his book.
Not only do Isak Prins and I share a name, an interest in chocolate and Jews, oddly, we also claim the same birthdate, February 24. (He was born in 1887 in the Netherlands and moved to Israel in 1948.) My choco-dar had led me to a scholar with my surname, my interests, and my astrological sign. Mysteries remain: Is Prins related to me? Did he actually write the book? If so where is it? What did he really discover about Jews and chocolate? Is there a manuscript somewhere?
From Prins to Prinz, the chocolate trail of Jews and chocolate broadens.
(Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz is the author of On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao, published by Jewish Lights. She speaks frequently on the subject of chocolate and religions around the country at scholar-in-residence or lecture opportunities. Currently located in New York City, Rabbi Prinz serves the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) as Director of Program and Member Services and Director of the Joint Commission on Rabbinic Mentoring. She blogs at Jews on the Chocolate Trail.)
September 1, 2013 | 10:50 am
Posted by Rabbi Debbie Prinz
Mexican crypto-Jews not only took an active role in the cacao trade in the New World, they also secreted it into their undercover Jewish ritual life in the mid-seventeenth-century. Chocolate accompanied meals at the beginning and end of the fast of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). This may have been the most frequently observed of the Jewish holy days, so much so that many hidden Jews even risked writing down the exact date. The theme of atonement resonated for them, as they felt themselves constantly sinning through their public profession of Catholicism. Here are a few examples:
Gaspar Váez broke his 1640 Yom Kippur fast with drinking chocolate, eggs, salad, pies, fish, and olives.
Isabel de Rivera testified to the Inquisition on October 7, 1642, that a year before, on Yom Kippur, Doña Juana, sent “thick chocolate and sweet things made in her house.”
Around 1645 Gabriel de Granada and his family washed down their pre-fast meal with chocolate, having also dined on fish, eggs, and vegetables. Others reported that they preceded the Day of Atonement with fruit and chocolate and that they broke the fast with chocolate and similar treats.
Beatriz Enríquez, at the age of twenty-two, testified that when her husband left for long business trips, she took advantage of her sadness to hide her abstinence from chocolate and food on día grande (the big day), or Yom Kippur:
From the window she pretended to be crying over the absence of her husband and with this suffering she was able to hide from her negras (Negro servants) the fact that she ate nothing and did not drink chocolate that day.
In order not to eat on fast days such as Yom Kippur, Amaro Díaz Martaraña and her husband would stage a falling out with each other in the middle of the day. When chocolate was brought to them, they would pretend to be offended and spill it on the servants. They reconciled in the evening.
To offer chocolate at times when it was proscribed and to receive a refusal in response was to communicate through a coded language. Jews developed such sticky subterfuges to avoid being outed for drinking chocolate on Catholic fast days or for not drinking chocolate on Jewish fast days. This version of Mexican hot chocolate roots the Jewish story of chocolate drinking in the Inquisition in New Spain/Mexico. Try it at your Yom Kippur pre-fast and break-the-fast.
Mexican Hot Chocolate (a pareve version would have been used in seventeenth-century)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Melt the chocolate in a large bowl over a simmering pan of water. In a separate heavy saucepan, heat the milk and cream on low until hot, but not boiling. Add 3 tablespoons of the hot milk to the chocolate in the bowl and mix well. Stir the rest of the milk mixture, sugar, chile powders, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla into the chocolate. Whisk chocolate briskly for 3 minutes, over the double boiler to thicken.
(Note: To make it less spicy, use less chile.)
Quantity: 8 servings
To read more about chocolate in the Inquisition see On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao published by Jewish Lights.
August 6, 2013 | 3:55 am
Posted by Rabbi Debbie Prinz
The iconic Israeli cocoa-based birthday cake known as Ugah Kushit (black cake) or Ugat Yomledet (birthday cake) would be a great treat for Rosh Hashanah. As this Rosh Hashanah commemorates 5774 years since the birth of the world, this delicacy belongs on our Yom Tov menus.
Israeli-born Yigal Ben Aderet remembers his Turkish-born mother baking this “big deal,” spongy, moist, chocolaty cake, sometimes frosted, sometimes with whipped cream. It was eaten with milk and/or dunked in milk. Yigal Rechtman recalls that the class mothers responsible for the treats for special occasions who were expert bakers on his kibbutz occasionally made the very dark, unfrosted, somewhat coarse, round cake with a hole in the middle for very special occasions. The last time he tasted it may have been when he became Bar Mitzvah in 1979. Winners of the community Purim lottery might have won such a cake, as he recalls.
Some Hebrew speakers would be concerned about this apparently un-PC name for the black cake, which actually comes from the word kushi, referring to a black person. The word is based on the biblical text mentioning Moses’s wife’s land of origin in the Kingdom of Cush in Africa, “And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman” (Numbers 12:1). The cake definitely has an exotic and ancient background.
My research for On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao, led to many wonderful recipes, including this one. As I plan for Rosh Hashanah’s commemoration of 5774 years since the birth of the world, this Israeli birthday cake will be a celebratory addition.
1 cup milk 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 ounces butter, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 2 cups sugar 1 cup boiling water (optional: 1⁄4 cup instant coffee for additional flavor)
3⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄2 cup whipping cream (optional: add 1 tablespoon instant coffee)
41⁄2 ounces dark chocolate, crumbled
Sprinkles, for decoration (optional)
FOR THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 320ºF. Lightly grease a 10-inch springform pan or Bundt pan, or line a cake pan with parchment paper. Mix together the milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the sugar and mix. Fold the milk mixture slowly into the dry ingredients. Mix the boiling water with the cocoa; stir into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 40–45 minutes. Check with a toothpick to see how firm it is; bake until it is firm inside, perhaps another 20–30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan. Remove when cool.
FOR THE FROSTING: Warm the cream in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; do not let it boil. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. If you prefer to cover the entire the cake with frosting, double or triple the recipe. Once the frosting has cooled, apply it to the cake. Decorate with sprinkles.
Quantity: 10–15 servings
June 8, 2013 | 7:17 pm
Posted by Rabbi Debbie Prinz
In 1939, well before I was born, my father, Louis Kwechansky was already into chocolate production in Montreal. He had patented a machine to make a product that would seal his fame. He invented a chocolate lollypop on a stick, called a “Chocolate Pop.” He hired the best known intellectual property firm in town to write the patent.
He began making Easter bunnies and eggs in fancy gift packaging and developed Passover fruit jellies and chocolate covered Passover jellies. These candies are still a staple of Passover today. I remember visiting “the factory,” as we called it, during Passover production and a Rabbi would place the “Kosher for Passover” labels on the Passover candies while the Easter candies would flow down those wide fast moving belts just a few feet away. Talk about ecumenical cooperation!
During World War II there was rationing on sugar. Being a prime ingredient of candy, candy companies could still obtain sugar. Consumers would buy hard candy to dissolve in their coffee and tea and the military bought candy for the troops. Times were sweet for Louis and St. Lawrence Candy Company. The factory had relocated a few times before my time; it grew to between 150 to 200 employees. When I was old enough to go to “the factory,” I cannot recall much excitement over seeing all that candy flowing. It just seemed to be “normal life.” I watched many people working hard, cocoa beans being crushed, belts moving candy everywhere and boxes being filled for shipping. They were supervised by my father’s first and only foreman, Sam Shkarovsky. There was also a supervisor named Carmel, a perfect name for someone who worked in candy.
The chocolate room was one that never diminished in my mind. Many chocolate companies buy chocolate in industrial sized bars from the large suppliers like Hershey’s. Louis made his own chocolate. The beans were imported and poured into three massive crushing drums. They appeared to be about twenty feet high. They were round with a winding staircase going to the top and the top was at least the height of three people.
The process began with crushing the beans. While your taste buds may be wagging at the thought, it is not what you think. The odor (not scent) of this chocolate was acrid and bitter. It would permeate my father’s suits and even our car. I remember when my father would come home from the factory after being in the chocolate room that day. I would know within seconds of his arrival even though my bedroom was upstairs and far from the front door. But, from that point, things became much sweeter. They would blend the crushed and refined beans into chocolate liquor. They added cocoa butter as well, lots of sugar and milk when called for. They would blend the mixture to suit the taste that their customers liked. He taught me that dark chocolate would be more caloric than milk chocolate because it needed more sugar to make it edible. The company made chocolate bars, chocolate pops, chocolate bunnies and many items that I do not recall. They developed several trademark brands along the way.
Handling chocolate was more difficult than hard candy due to its low melting temperature. Shipping chocolate was far more difficult in summer than winter. Air conditioning and refrigeration trucks were not an option at that time so heat and humidity were major factors. Humidity was at its highest in August and working was very wasteful. My mother developed the idea that the entire factory would close for two weeks vacation at that time and reopen after Labor Day when heat and humidity would subside. Thus, August vacation was born.
I once asked my father how they controlled the inventory from being pilfered during production. He explained that they did not use any controls during manufacturing. He allowed the employees to eat all the candy they wanted. The secret was that new employees would gorge on candy all day, the first day. All that candy would give them a stomach ache they would not soon forget. The second day onward, they could not stand the taste of candy. Simple, smart and efficient.
As a kid, if I asked for some candy he would bring home a box of candy, usually chocolate pops. To the consumer, a box of chocolate candy might be five or ten pieces. To the son of a candy manufacturer, it meant a box of a gross (twelve dozen, a minimum shipping box). With so much candy sitting in the pantry and as much as we wanted, it lost its glitter. My mother would get upset, to put it mildly, when I would pay money to buy a chocolate bar from another company.
Personal weight control was never an issue. We never overate candy as it did not have the restrictive attraction it has for others. My friends, much later in life, recall how their eyes would bulge when I opened the pantry door and gave them candy when they visited. During a conversation nearing the end of a Bar Mitzvah party in Montreal in 2004, many years after the end of the company, some folks began reminiscing about “the factory.” They were kids when they visited. Though now middle aged or seniors, they sounded like children when they recalled the toffee being stretched, the candies flowing along the belts, the scents of all those chocolate pops, black balls, honeymoons, “chicken bones” (made with crystallized chocolate), marshmallow bananas and so many other treats. I never knew it was so warmly remembered.
Louis was born into the candy business; he began his life in the Ukrainian Shtetel of Rzhyshchir in a region 75 km south of Kiev. The name appears to be Polish and, at that time, Ukraine was alternately under Polish and then Russian control. His parents made their living making and selling hard candies in the town. As it turns out, that region is a sugar beet growing area. To those who are confused, sugar beets and sugar cane yield the same tasting sweetener though Hawaiians bristle at such comparison. This business supported the family through the Pogroms and the 1917 Russian Revolution. After the Revolution, the Communist government demanded that the Jews in the area relocate to Kiev. That seemed to be the end of Louis and the candy business. However, sometime before 1925, at age 19 or 20, Louis, the youngest of approximately 10 children, left home.
He found his way to Moscow and got a job in a chocolate factory. There he learned what he needed to make both hard candy and chocolate candy. With that knowledge in hand he obtained his exit visa (which is another story all together) and made his way to Montreal. His sister and brother-in-law had already reestablished there.
From the Maritime provinces to the Western provinces, St. Lawrence Candy was sought by kids of all ages. Not many people get to prosper and be loved and remembered for the work they did and the generosity they shared with the community. Louis did.
(With thanks to my niece Minelle in Calgary for her efforts to research far back into our family’s history.)
Cross posted at Jews on the Chocolate Trail.
June 2, 2013 | 6:03 am
Posted by Rabbi Debbie Prinz
Yes, they do, according to a story told by our colleague and friend, Rabbi Mo Salth, first recounted by radio commentator, Paul Harvey. A mother decided that her family should eat more healthfully and alerted her children that she would no longer be purchasing sugary snacks. She took her 3-year-old son to the grocery store and reminded him that they would not be buying his favorite chocolate chip cookies. She cautioned him not to even ask about them.
She put him up in the cart and proceeded through the aisles. The boy was fine until they came to the cracker aisle, which also contained the cookie selections. Of course he saw the chocolate chip cookies and asked for them. She responded, “I told you to ask. We are not buying any desserts or snacks.” They continued their shopping and found themselves near the cookie aisle for one last item. He begged for the cookies again. The mom answered, “Sweetie, I told you that that we are not buying cookies or any other desserts. Please remember that.”
Finally, they made it to the checkout stand. The little boy knew enough about how the market works that this would be his last chance at the cookies. So just as they got to the cashier, he stood up on the seat of the cart and shouted in his loudest voice:
“Dear God, hear my prayer now. May I have some chocolate chip cookies?”
Some of the folks in the lines laughed. Some even applauded.
That day the little boy and his mother went home with 23 boxes of chocolate chip cookies.
Mo extracted an important message about prayer from this story. I would add that the passion for chocolate starts early, that it resonates through all generations and that it has divine connections.
This is cross-posted at Jews on the Chocolate Trail.
May 25, 2013 | 5:01 pm
Posted by Rabbi Debbie Prinz
1. The idea that Jews brought chocolate making to France pervades the French chocolate center, Bayonne.
2. In the eighteenth century, Jews were considered to be specialists in chocolate making in Amsterdam, Martinique and other locales.
3. Non-Jewish, American folk-singer Woody Guthrie wrote a song about Chanukah gelt.
4. North American Jewish Colonial traders, including Aaron Lopez and members of the Gomez family, were involved in the trade, manufacture, and retail of chocolate. Rebecca Gomez may have been the only woman of her day making chocolate.
6. Jewish values such as oshek (honest and fair labor practices) and bal taschit (saving that which has potential for future use) are considerations when selecting chocolate.
7. We could add chocolate into more of our Jewish rituals and celebrations.
8. It is very difficult to buy an over the counter mold for Chanukah gelt.
9. Within the last twenty years, there were at least five Jews making artisanal chocolate in the San Francisco area.
10. Jews have been active on the chocolate trail since it was discovered by Europeans.
What would you add to this list?
More information may be found in On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao, now in its second printing by Jewish Lights Publishing.