Chocolate: How a New World Commodity Conquered Spanish Literature
Published: July 2021© 2021
240 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25 x 0.75 in, 5 b&w illustrations
In terms of its popularity, as well as its production, chocolate was among the first foods to travel from the New World to Spain. Chocolate: How a New World Commodity Conquered Spanish Literature considers chocolate as an object of collective memory used to bridge the transatlantic gap through Spanish literary works of the early modern period, tracing the mention of chocolate from indigenous legends and early chronicles of the conquistadors to the theatre and literature of Spain.
The book considers a variety of perspectives and material cultures, such as the pre-Colombian conception of chocolate, the commercial enterprise surrounding chocolate, and the darker side of chocolate’s connections to witchcraft and sex. Encapsulating both historical and literary interests, Chocolate will appeal to anyone interested in the global history of chocolate.
List of Illustrations
2. Pre-Columbian Conceptions of Chocolate
3. Encountering Chocolate: What Is It Good For?
4. Chocolate Covered Commerce: How Chocolate Came into Popularity in the Old World
5. Chocolate in the Church: Ecclesiastical Debates on Chocolate and Fasting
6. Chocolate: A Prescription for Health?
7. Sinfully Delicious: The Darker Side of Chocolate
9. Epilogue: Chocolate Then and Chocolate Now
"Chocolate is an intellectual treat: an adventurous journey through uncharted crossroads of political, economic, literary, and culinary histories, spanning four centuries of transatlantic exchanges, from pre-Colombian times and the early age of exploration, conquest, and colonization of the new world to the twilight of the Spanish empire."David Castillo, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, University at Buffalo
"From conquest chronicles and missionary accounts to the raging religious and medical debates of chocolate’s value, to its many and varied appearances in early modern plays and other primary sources, Cowling’s fascinating study provides ample evidence of chocolate as status symbol and the fervour that surrounded it throughout the early modern era."Carolyn Nadeau, Byron S. Tucci Professor of Spanish, Illinois Wesleyan University
"Is it possible to capture delight and devastation, conquest and commerce, culture and cuisine, all in the history of one commodity? It is if the product in question is chocolate, and if your author is Erin Alice Cowling. This book is a must-read for anyone who loves chocolate – which is to say, everyone."William Egginton, Decker Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute, Johns Hopkins University
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As we reach the height of summer, and with COVID restrictions easing, we wanted to share some new releases that you should be adding to your summer reading list. So whether you’re relaxing at the cottage, lounging by the poolside, or simply knocking off work a few hours early, we have a little something for everyone.
Author Erin Alice Cowling tells us more about her forthcoming book, Chocolate: How a New World Commodity Conquered Spanish Literature which provides a fascinating and worldly narrative about one of the most beloved foods of all time.