We’ve had a busy season here at Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop and a busy year here on the blog From the Hearth and Home of Mrs. Newark Jackson! We’ve been bringing you delectable chocolate recipes, intriguing tidbits from the history of chocolate, and everything in between. Worried you may have missed something? Never fear! For here we have an end of year round-up of our favorite chocolate posts from the year 2015.
Our longest series of posts this year focused on the historical background of the eight colonial spices and ingredients added to American Heritage Historic Chocolate: cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, chili pepper, orange zest, anise, salt, and annatto. We also covered the history of that arguably most beloved chocolate ingredient, sugar, as well as the history of one a little more obscure, ambergris.
Other aspects of colonial history we wrote on included the consumption of chocolate at coffeehouses, and how it was issued as a ration, both in the military and on whaling ships. We also explored some great connections with the original “chocoholic,” Martha Washington! In addition to drinking chocolate, Martha enjoyed a chocolate tea made from the shells of cacao beans. We also tried out a chocolate cake recipe she may have served George’s and her guests at Mount Vernon.
We also went further back in time to consider the historical use of chocolate by Mesoamericans. The Olmecs were consuming it first as a beverage about 3500 years ago, and it was often a symbol closely associated with blood in early Mayan and Aztec cultures. Christopher Columbus encountered the cocoa bean in Mesoamerica in 1502, but woefully misidentified it.
But perhaps the only thing better than learning about the fascinating history of chocolate is – of course – eating it! We love coming up with new ways to enjoy the deliciously spiced American Heritage Historic Chocolate, and here are ten of our favorite recipes from 2015 (in no particular order):
- We kicked off our day with chocolate chunk pancakes.
- We beat the summer heat with chocolate snow ice cream, chocolate popsicles, and monkey bites, and then gathered round the campfire for s’mores.
- We embraced the autumnal spirit with pumpkin muffins with chocolate cream cheese frosting and buckeyes.
- We enjoyed our local treats of Boston cream pie and bright, June (chocolate-dipped!) strawberries.
- And for those days when we just can’t pick between hot cocoa or hot chocolate, we came up with a combined recipe for the best of both!
We hope you all have had a wonderful 2015 and hope to see more of you here at the Hearth and Home of Mrs. Newark Jackson in 2016!