lovers everywhere may feel gratitude toward the ancient Maya and Aztecs, who
first discovered cacao. Introduced to Europe by early Spanish explorers, cacao
– or chocolate – quickly became a popular import in high demand with affluent
citizens. It soon made its way to North America as a breakfast drink, as
nourishment for invalids, and for military rations. New research will highlight
the use of chocolate in local history through an exploration of Deerfield
account books from the 1700s. Claire Carlson will also explore the botany of
the cacao tree and how cacao beans are transformed into chocolate. The talk
will include a sampling of American Heritage Chocolate provided by the Mars Candy Company.
Claire Carlson is the Education Program Coordinator
at Historic Deerfield. She holds a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from UMass Amherst. She is the manager of Historic Deerfield’s
Open Hearth Cooking Program and a member of the Colonial Chocolate Society.