Three thousand years ago, the Olmecs of central America drew strength from drinking chocolate made from cacao beans. The Maya civilization valued cacao beans as currency, and pottery vessels bearing the hieroglyph for cacao sustained the spirits of nobles in their tombs. Aztec Emperor Montezuma reportedly drank chocolate from a golden goblet, and in 1519 entertained the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortès. The knowledge of chocolate was carried by Spanish royalty to France through dynastic marriage in the early 17th century, where it continued to be an aristocratic beverage. In England, because of legal restrictions and their pacifist religious beliefs, Quakers had to seek alternatives to traditional careers in politics, law, the military, and holy orders. Several Quakers, such as Cadbury, Fry and Rowntree, became well-known manufacturers of chocolate.
Topics: •Cacao beans and the Aztecs •European empires and fashionable beverage •Continental chocolate •Quakers and social philanthropy •Chocolate in New Zealand Wednesdays 29 July - 26 August 7.30-9pm
Fee: $50 due by Monday 27 July - also option to pay on the night