Jewish Journal

On the Chocolate Trail

by Rabbi Debbie Prinz

May 15, 2013 | 2:28 pm

Join me on a delicious adventure with Jews on the chocolate trail, a trail that has been well worn since the 16th century. As we travel my husband, Rabbi Mark Hurvitz and I, explore local chocolate opportunities and culture, two Jews enjoying the trail of chocolate around the world. We have also unwrapped some surprising Jewish connections with chocolate, including Jews in the early chocolate trade and production. The next time you pick up a piece of chocolate, consider that you are partaking in an aspect of Jewish history and future as well. Sephardim in Amsterdam, Bayonne (France), Oxford, Martinique, Mexico, Newport, New York, in particular, were immersed in chocolate since it was first introduced to Europeans. This chocoholism has been passed down L’dor vador, from generation to generation. I love the opportunity to meld a popularity of chocolate with a fascination about Judaism and Jewish values.

Jews also connect with Pre-Columbians, Catholics and Protestants on the chocolate trail through this exploration of chocolate’s religious narratives and rituals. This gastronomic adventure combines age old passions for chocolate and religion and unwraps delightful new themes.

My “choco-dar,” my irrepressible, spontaneous radar for chocolate experiences led me to this project. I hope that it will activate your “choco-dar” and that you will savor the information, the recipes, and the discoveries.

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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, was published in...

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