Episode 221: Cultural History of Chocolate

September 27, 2003
Listen: Cultural History of Chocolate

For some of us, a bit of fine, luxurious chocolate can soothe our stress or brighten a dreary day. But how many of us know that our Godiva bar started out as a goopy white substance from the insides of an ugly cacao pod? Maricel Presilla, author of The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Cacao, shares some history and cultural lore about our antidote of choice and leaves us with two recipes: Kekehi Cacao-Chile Balls and Maya-Mediterranean Chocolate Rice Pudding.

Jane and Michael Stern are sampling smoked eel and other delicacies from The Eel Man of the Delaware Valley; and winemaker Randall Graham of Bonny Doon Vineyards talks "wine of the prostitute" and Strawberry Fizz. Cheese expert Steve Jenkins offers alternatives to Brie; and we'll go to New Orleans for the return of a Sunday classic.

We'll hear how an adult-ed class teamed up with salsa to change the lives of a group of Mexican women in California's Anderson Valley. The "salsa ladies" collectively wrote Secrets of Salsa: A Bilingual Cookbook to tell their inspiring story and share recipes like Potato and Carrot Salsa.

Broadcast dates for this episode:

  • September 28, 2002 (originally aired)

  • September 27, 2003 (rebroadcast)