In terms of its popularity, as well as its production, chocolate was among the first foods to travel from the New World to Spain. Chocolate: How a New World Commodity Conquered Spanish Literature considers chocolate as an object of collective memory used to bridge the transatlantic gap through Spanish literary works of the early modern period, tracing the mention of chocolate from indigenous legends and early chronicles of the conquistadors to the theatre and literature of Spain.
'Cowling also examines literary works that grapple with a variety of questions surrounding the uses of chocolate, from the ecclesiastical to medicinal, and sexual to commercial. Chocolate explores a wide range of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century texts, letters, testimonies and ship registers from the Archivo de Indias, contemporary chronicles and histories, as well as cookbooks. The book considers a variety of perspectives and material cultures, such as the pre-Colombian conception of chocolate, the commercial enterprise surrounding chocolate, and the darker side of chocolate’s connections to witchcraft and sex. Encapsulating both historical and literary interests, Chocolate will appeal to anyone interested in the global history of chocolate.