It all started with a trip to a French chocolate shop. The result is the new book On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao." The author, Deborah R. Prinz, spoke with Arutz Sheva - Israel National Radio on the "Walter's World" program with host Walter Bingham.
"When we were in Paris for that first trip, I happened to pick up the company literature which said that Jews brought chocolate to France," Prinz stated. "I had never come across that information at point during all my years of congregational work."
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"On the Chocolate Trail" is part history book, part recipe book, and part travel diary. It details her 6 years of research which included trips to Israel and talks with Jewish chocolatiers.
One of the most interesting of her trips was to Bayonne, France. "It's probably the location where Jews first started to make chocolate in France and is still a center of chocolate making," Prinz stated.
"There was significant friction between the Jewish chocolate makers and the Catholic chocolate makers," the author related. As her book details, the Jewish community in the region were 'conversos' who came after the Expulsion from Spain and Portugal.
There were certain restrictions against the Jewish chocolate makers. They couldn't live in the community of Bayonne. They had to live in the suburbs. Nevertheless, the non-Jewish chocolate makers who still exist in France today all tell the story in museums and literature that it was the Jews that brought chocolate to France."
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Walter Bingham travels all over Israel and the international Jewish world to bring you in-depth reports in his exciting magazine style program. Topics range from cultural and entertainment events and social problems to major political interviews and statements recorded live as they happen. Walter's World broadcasts every Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Israel time on Israel National Radio. For mp3 archives click here.