Walk Down the Jewish Chocolate Trail

New Book Looks at Rich and Sweet History

Bean to Bar: Rabbi Deborah Prinz traveled to the globe’s chocolate meccas for five years in search of several-hundred year old tale of Jews and chocolate.
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Bean to Bar: Rabbi Deborah Prinz traveled to the globe’s chocolate meccas for five years in search of several-hundred year old tale of Jews and chocolate.

By Leah Koenig

Published January 22, 2013, issue of January 25, 2013.
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As Prinz writes, the Jewish connection to the chocolate industry endures today. There are international and boutique chocolate makers in Israel, and many Jewish chocolatiers on the scene in America, including Larry Slotnick, who co-owns the fair-trade chocolate company Taza, and Oded Brenner and Max Fichtman, whose beloved Max Brenner chocolate brand, now owned by the Israeli company Strauss-Elite, has gone global. Whether Prinz continues to track the Jewish chocolate trail or moves on to another subject (if she is taking suggestions, I nominate “Jews and coffee”) remains to be seen. But with her book on the shelves, and plenty of chocolate left to sample, the journey will certainly continue to be sweet.

Mexican Hot Chocolate
Reprinted, with permission, from “On the Chocolate Trail“ by Rabbi Deborah Prinz

Serves 8

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
4 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespon vanilla extract

1) Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a large bowl set over a simmering pan of water.

2) In a separate heavy saucepan, heat the milk and cream on low until hot, but not boiling. Add 3 tablespoons of the hot milk mixture to the melted chocolate and mix well. Stir the rest of the milk mixture into the chocolate, along with the sugar, chile powders, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla.

3) Whisk the chocolate mixture briskly until thickened, about 3 minutes, and ladle into mugs.

Leah Koenig writes a monthly column on food and culinary trends. Contact her at ingredients@forward.com


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