[Sca-cooks] Chocolate of Modica, chocolate of Alicante

Marcello Napolitano marcello.napolitano at gmail.com
Tue Jan 15 00:08:33 PST 2013

Hi Adelisa.

My SCA persona is from Modica (de Mohac), but being from the early 13th
century, can't help you with your query. I did look online at some Italian
sources on chocolate of the 16th and 17th century, and found several
mentions of production of the chocolate in Modica and elsewhere in Italy,
but nothing on cultivation of Theobroma cacao. Since it is a tropical plant
with a fairly narrow area of growth, it sounds strange that it would be
successfully cultivated in Europe, other than a novelty plant that would
not bear fruit.

I would be interested to know what led you to the history of Modica, or
what interesting things you may have found. Ler me know if I can be of
assistance with any Italian source.

Best regards,

Stefano de Mohac (Marcello Napolitano)

2013/1/14 Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

> Having done some research into the history of Modica, Sicily, there are
> some indications that this extremely wealthy area - held by the counts of
> Henriquez-Cabrera, described as a "kingdom within a kingdom" – had a very
> early knowledge/production of chocolate, in the manner of Alicante, Spain.
> The author Anthony DiRenzo writes in his book "Bitter Greens" that the
> Spanish planted cocoa trees in Sicily, to maximize profits, but admitted to
> me that he does not know when the first trees were planted.
> When it comes to the chocolate of Alicante, I think this book was
> mentioned on the list before, but I am wondering if anyone has read it and
> whether it is factually credible:
> Rafael Montal Montesa, "El chocolate: Las semillas de oro." Came out in
> 1999, published by the government of Aragon.
> The Wikipedia entry on chocolate cites this book when talking about a
> delegation from Japan in 1585, "visiting the Emperor Philip II in Alicante,
> was impressed by the offer of chocolate made by the nearby convent of the
> Poor Clares of Veronica."
> Has anyone read this book?
> YIS,
> Adelisa
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