I wrote an article that is featured in the program for the Hilberry Theatre’s soon to open production of THE WAY OF THE WORLD.
When you sip a cup of hot chocolate today, you may not realize that the well-loved drink had a completely different identity during the age of The Way of the World. Chocolate, then an exotic spice to many eyes and palettes, first arrived in continental Europe in 1585. Over the next few years, the taste and aroma quickly became fashionable in many locations around the continent.
For those living in England, chocolate remained unknown until the mid-17th century. At that time, the city’s first chocolate house opened in East London, run by a Frenchman who sold a beverage described as an “excellent West India drink.” The mysterious substance quickly gained a strong reputation from those “in the know.” Various advertisements claimed that chocolate would reverse the aging process, serve as an aphrodisiac, and cure the previous evening’s hangover. Recipes for chocolate drinks included such mixtures as sugar…
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