Newsletter No. 7-07 (Jun. 2007)   Page 5 of 5 / Sidan 5 av 5. [back to page 1] Arcive/Arkiv: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


This newsletter is written in order to spread experiences within the topic of historic textiles and reconstructions. Our ambition is to amuse you and stimulate interest in the 18th Century. Durán Textiles, who is mainly working with museum collections and Royal Castles, was founded in 2002 by CEO and production manager Laila Durán, with co-worker artist Torkel Henriksson who is doing the artworks and preparing the designs for production. Our production is done mostly in India supervised by Duran Textiles inspectors. 
- The articles are mainly written by Laila Durán but we also have help from colleagues and specialists from several museums and universities.  In the future this newsletter will be distributed four times a year and is free of charge. We hope you will enjoy our stories and offers and help us to spread the letter to friends and colleagues. Contact:

Detta nyhetsbrev skrivs för att sprida erfarenheter inom ämnet rekonstruktioner av historiska textiler och 1700-talet. Ambitionen är att roa och stimulera intresset. Durán Textiles har varit verksamt sedan 2002 och arbetar med projekt för Kungliga Slott och museisamlingar i hela Skandinavien. Laila Durán är VD och projektledare, Torkel Henriksson arbetar med originalen och alla förlagor för tryck och väv. På plats i Indien, där de flesta av tygerna produceras, finns Durán Textiles egna inspektörer.
- Artiklarna skrivs huvudsakligen av Laila Durán men vi får även hjälp av kollegor och specialister från olika muséer och universitet.  Nyhetsbrevet kommer i fortsättningen att komma ut fyra gånger per år och är helt kostnadsfritt. Vi hoppas ni ska uppskatta våra artiklar och erbjudanden och även sprida informationen vidare till Era vänner. Kontakt:



Food of the gods.
By Laila Durán.

Chocolate was introduced to Europe in the mid 16th Century by the Spaniards after the conquest of Mexico and became a popular beverage, but its manufacture remained a secret of the Spanish court for almost one hundred years. It is believed that Hernandes Cortés introduced cacao beans to Spain when he returned in 1528 with many of the New World’s agricultural and mineral riches. Although chocolate was widely regarded for its medicinal properties, some adjustments made by the Spanish to make it palatable transformed the drink into something far more appealing. In Mexico the drink was spiced with pepper to bitter chocolate, but the Spaniards who had sugar cane from the Canary Islands added sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. It was in the monasteries kitchens recipes of chocolate developed using the popular spices and it did not take long for chocolate to become the choice among the elite of Spain, and eventually the rest of Europe.

Even though many Jesuits contributed to the development of chocolate, the order of the Dominicans opposed “the use, or rather abuse, of certain aromatic plant from Mexico in the beverage known as chocolate”. As we know, religious condemnation can make forbidden fruit irresistible, and this was undeniably true of the fruit of “Theobroma (“food of the gods”) cacao”, named by the Swedish natural scientist Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778).

The taking of morning chocolate, particularly in bed, became an integral part of aristocratic life in the 18th century Europe, a favourite pastime featured in Wolfgang Amadeus Mosart’s Cosí fan Tutte, written in 1790. Despina, the maid, complains that she has to beat the chocolate of her mistress’s for half an hour. But when she sneaks a taste, she finds that her effort has been worthwhile.
Taking chocolate in the boudoir was not simply a luxury enjoyed on an idle morning, for chocolate was considered by many to be an aphrodisiac. Casanova found it to be a love stimulant along with champagne, and it could “arouse the ardors of Venus”. It is told that the famous seducer and womaniser drank up to 50 cups of chocolate per day believing the reputation chocolate had on women and sexual powers. The drinking of chocolate was a social as well as a sensuous affair. An Italian writer observed: ”There is no counting the money the Europeans nowadays spend on cacao and other chocolate herbs”.

The nourishing quality of chocolate was undisputed since the days of Cortés. Sir Hans Sloane, physician to Queen Anne and King George II of England, considered it a health food and advertised for its “lightness on the stomach and its great use in all Consumptive cases”. Carolus Linneaus also examined the medicinal uses of chocolate. In his opinion, three types of illness responded well to chocolate: wasting or thinness brought on by lung or muscle diseases, hypochondria, and haemorrhoids. He also mentioned cacao as an aphrodisiac.

In the 17th century governments imposed high taxes on raw cacao, and penalties for smuggling was severe, but by the 1800s, as chocolate became less expensive, Chocolate Houses became very fashionable. At first these establishments attracted members of the upper class, but soon they became gathering places for working men. Many viewed chocolate as a way of keeping workers away from alcohol.

It is largely thanks to the Dutch chemist Coenraad Van Houten that chocolate making was brought in to a new area. In 1828 Van Houten patented a process for extracting cacao butter from roasted beans. His screw press reduced the cacao butter content by nearly half and created a cake that could be pulverised into fine powder, which we call cacao. This process also led to the manufacture of chocolate for eating. Chocolate would now be combined with sugar and then blended with extracted cocoa butter to create a solid cake. In 1849 the English chocolate maker Joseph S. Fry made what is known as the world’s first eating chocolate, in the form of a bar that he called ”Chocolate Délicieux à Manger”.
Surly we all agree today that chocolate is indeed delicious!

Hot Chocolate
7 dl milk and 3 dl full fat cream, heat till its almost boiling. Pour the milk over 100 gr. finely shopped dark chocolate. Stir well of two minutes or until the chocolate dissolves. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream and cacao powder

Chocolate dessert
Take two large spoons of vanilla ice cream in a cup; fill it up by 2/3 with cold chocolate. Top it off with whipped cream, chocolate crumbs and finely grinded orange peel.

Choklad passion, Jan Hed, Prisma förlag
Chocolate the nature of indulgence, Ruth Lopez



Maid serving hot chocolate.

Baronessa Fredrika Charlotta Sparre painted by Francois Boucher in 1741.

Giacomo Cassanova (1725 – 1798).

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