Sunday, April 15, 2007
ANNC: CHOCOLATE TOURISM
A Problem in Historical Anthropology
Professor of History, Mills College
Friday, April 20, 4:00 PM
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley
My talk addresses chocolate, travel, and tourism, specifically the changing nature of chocolate consumption and the ways in which people traveled to obtain it. Traveling for cacao, cafés, and candy has a long history from Columbus to the contemporary consumer and chocolate plays a role, relatively minor to the 20th century, in a larger process of cultural change. The association of tourism and gastronomy is one of the oldest in history, when one considers how much travel was involved in our earliest ancestors' quests for food. Chocolate remained an item of relatively minor tourist interest until the development of milk chocolate and the lowering of sugar prices during the late nineteenth century helped produce a kind of Grand Chocolate Age during the first half of the twentieth century, from about 1915 to about 1955. Companies such as Suchard in Switzerland, Menier in France, Cadbury in England, and Hershey and Mars in the United States together helped produce the modern chocolate era. The paper concludes with an assessment of chocolate tourism today.
Professor Bertram Gordon is the author of Collaborationism in France During the Second World War (1980). He is also the author of numerous articles including "Warfare and Tourism: Paris in World War II" (Annals of Tourism Research, July 1998) and "French Cultural Tourism and the Vichy Problem" in Being Elsewhere: Tourism, Consumer Culture, and Identity in Modern Europe and North America (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001).
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