Cocoa and Chocolate

This volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection was published in 1886 in Dorchester, Massachusetts, by the Walter Baker & Co. chocolate company and contains information on the properties and processing of the cocoa plant, plus dozens of chocolate recipes for the home cook.

Chocolate and chocolate recipes had become hugely popular in America in the late nineteenth century, and Baker’s Chocolate, later acquired by Kraft Foods, was one of the largest national brands in the country. This slim volume written by an author associated with the company discusses the history of chocolate products in the U.S., botanical information about the cocoa plant and method of processing the fruit, properties of different parts of the fruit and its value as a foodstuff according to eminent physicians, early use of cocoa in South America and Europe, the purity and healing qualities of cocoa-butter, and over 50 recipes for chocolate drinks, candies, cakes, tartlets, macaroons, wafers, jumbles, custards, creams, soufflés, meringues, pies, ice cream, caramels, syrups, and even wine.

About the Author

John Hannon and physician Dr. James Baker began importing cocoa beans and making chocolate in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1765. Dr. Baker bought and renamed it the Baker Chocolate Company in 1780, and his first product was a cake of chocolate for making a sweet drink. The family continued to expand distribution, and by 1849 under Walter Baker, the brand had spread nationally and production increased throughout the century. The Baker family sold it in 1896 to companies that eventually became General Foods and Kraft foods. It is one of the largest national brands of chocolate in the U.S.

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