Il cacao: la ricerca di un'identità commerciale e culturale = Cocoa: the search for a commercial and cultural identity


In the eighteenth century the spirit of innovation favored the flow of new goods arriving from the Americas, even those considered luxurious like cocoa. While its natural characteristics were still undergoing investigation, cocoa’s tastier byproduct, chocolate, was tested by several European doctors as a possible remedy in the treatment of various diseases. But it was the relationship network of the European courts noblewomen that contributed to the prompt spread of its consumption in the Old Continent, and turned cocoa into a symbol of exclusivity in behavior for kings, noblemen and emerging classes. The therapeutic value given by doctors and the birth of chocolate sweets industry favored the survival of a flourishing trade, which gave the cocoa the double identity of invigorating for pharmacies and delight for pastry shops. The new ideology that interpreted this trade and the industrial processing of cocoa into chocolate bars and cocoa powder as positive for economical and social progress decreed the assimilation of this commodity into the European culture

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n7p323

Keywords: cocoa; ideology; therapeutic value; trade; industry; culture

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