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January 27, 1980 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-01-27
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_ r

Page 2-Sunday, January 27, 1980-The Michigan Daily

T
The Michigan Daily-Sundt

Free space

Eat to the Beat-

VAN GOS/s
PAI T(NGS

Bey ond the Hershey I

VAN GoCHA
* EAR*

0

The story of chocoli

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By Katie Herzfeld

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poetry

-a

Ballad
The rain darkens the sidewalk
and washes streaks onto the concrete walls
the clatter of voices
the thud of car doors
The girls walk so pretty
city city
Ispend the day in the public library
I don't need anyone.
Day comes up across the city
and I've lived it all before
your handprint on the wall
I watched you turn to stone.
I won't die for you again
rain in ugly streaks on the concrete walls
the red print of a hand
Istopped the noise
I stopped your walking
I leave your memory
running into the street.

B ETWEEN MOUTHFULS of bittersweet ambrosia,
a friend of mine once confessed, "Chocolate is
levels above orgasm."
No doubt there are those who would disagree, but
among chocaholics, and my friend is an addict, there is
no substitute. Chocolate is the food of the gods. Ap-
propriately, the-cocoa bean-producing tree was named
Theobroma by 18th century Swedish botanist Carl von
Linnaeus; theos means God, broma means food.
Latin Americans were the first known consumers of
chocolate. They used the cocoa beans as currency (a
rabbit was worth ten beans, a slave could be bought for
a hundred), and would mix them with spices and liquid
to make a peppery, foamy broth. They drank the
"chocolatl" cold, sometimes adding fermented corn
mash and wine to make it an intoxicant.
The Aztecs claimed that their god Quetzlcoatl gave
the seeds of the cocoa tree to mortals, and that his peers
banished him from earth for this deed. Quetzalcoatl
promised to return. When Hernando Cortez, the
Spanish explorer, arrived in Veracruz in 1519, he was
greeted with great hospitality because the Aztecs con-
sidered this Quetzalcoatl's second coming. Mon-
tezuma, who supposedly drank 50 cups of chocolatl
daily, generously shared with his guest. Before leaving
Mexico, Cortez established a cocoa plantation under a
Spanish flag, and he took more beans with him. As he
traveled, he planted them on Trinidad, Haiti, and Fer-
nando Po, an island off the western coast of Africa.
Two hundred years later, almost all the chocolate used
in Europe still passed first through Spanish hands.
The Spanish tried to keep chocolate secret from the
rest of Europe, and for a while they succeeded. English
and Dutch navies, having captured Spanish ships,
would even dump the "worthless" cocoa beans, un-
suspecting of the gastronomic delight. After a few
royal marriages, however, the chocolate secret
spread. France began its love affair with the-substance
when the Spanish Princess Marie Theresa gave
chocolate as an engagement presdnt to her future
husband, Louis XIV. A royal chocolate maker was
quickly appointed, and the drink soon became quite the
rage of Europe's upper class.
Casanova claimed to use chocolate instead of cham-
pagne to induce romance; Brillat-Savarin, a
gastronomic historian, called chocolate a panacea for
all forms of mental stress. In 1648, in A New Survey of
the West Indies, Thomas Gage wrote:
"A Cup of Chocolatte well confectioned com-
forts and strengthens the Stomach. For my self I
must say, I used it twelve years constantly.
Drinking one Cup in the morning, another yet
before Dinner between nine or ten of the clock;
another within an hour or two after Dinner, and
another between four and five in the afternoon;
and when I was purpos'd to sit up late to study, I
would take another Cup about seven or eight at
night, which would keep me waking till about
midnight. And if by chance I did neglect any of
these accustomed hours, I presently found my
stomach fainty."
Until 1828, chocolate was usually consumed in the
Katie Herzfeld is a member of the Daily Arts staff.

same manner as Cortez first found it; it was drunk un-
sweetened, spicy, and chilled. In that year, Coenraad
van Houten, a Dutch chemist, created "chocolate
powder" by squeezing the cocoa butter from the bean.
Essentially, the cocoa powder we know today is the
same product it was in 1828. In the middle of the 19th
century, an English company introduced "eating
chocolate". by combining chocolate liquor, cocoa but-
ter, and sugar. The Swiss later created smooth, milk
chocolate as we know it today through a process called
conching.
Today, most of the world's cocoa beans are grown in
Ghana, Africa. Their theobrama trees are descendants
of the one Cortez planted 350 years ago on Fernando
Po. Per capita, Switzerland out-chocolates the rest of
the world; each Swiss citizen consumes an average of
22 pounds yearly. In the U.S., we trail far behind the
rest of Europe, eating only an average of 10 pounds per
person each year. Nutritionally, chocolate has only 135
calories per ounce. It's a good source of Vitamin B, as
well as calcium, phosphorous, and iron. Combined with
milk, eggs, and nuts, a chocolate dessert could even be
considered healthy.
Whenever I read a new cookbook, I always look first
at desserts. And so I being this food column with
chocolate, the most decadent of desserts. The following
recipes, while not guaranteed to bring gastronomic
orgasms to your guests, should satisfy a wide variety
of palates without much effort. Enjoy!
Brownies
These fudge-like, extremely simple to make, and
the best I've ever tasted.
2 or 3 squares bitter chocolate
(according to taste)
4 oz. (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1% cup pastry flour*
(or scant 1 cup all purpose)
1 t. vanilla
cup coarsely chopped walnuts
(optional)
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a medium
sized saucepan. Remove from heat, add the other
ingredients in the order given. Pour into an ungreased
9" x 9" pan, and bake at 3250 for 25 minutes or until a
knife inserted comes out clean. Serve with vanilla ice
cream.
*Pastry flour, sometimes called cake flour, has
less expansive gluten than all purpose flour and
therefore bakes to icrumblier texture.
Hot Fudge Sauce
Untellably better than any commercial brand.
4 oz. butter
6 squares bitter chocolate
13 oz. evaporated milk
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler. (You can
rig one up by placing a large bowl in a smaller sized
pot). Add milk and sugar alternately, stirring after
each addition. Let cook % to 2 hours, stirring oc-
casionally. Serve with chopped nuts over ice cream.
Reheat in the double boiler. Makes 15 servings.
Ken Parsigian's Chili
Bittersweet chocolate is this recipe's
secret; it adds to the meat base and
cuts through the spices. Serve chili in
crepes, over pasta, or. just in a bowl
with lots of cheddar and raw Spanish
onions. Any way you do it, it's good
stuff.
2 large onions, finely chopped
1/8 lb. butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. ground beef, ground twice
if possible
4 T. chili powder

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-Karla Hafner

Upper Peninsula poet Karla Hafner
is a junior majoring in English. She
has won a H-opwood A ward for
poetry.

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