Friday, November 11, 2011

A World of Chocolate

If you are in New York City this weekend and enjoy sampling chocolate from around the world, be sure to check out the NY Chocolate Show which will run from November 10-13, 2011 at Metropolitan Pavilion NYC, 125 West 18th Street.

On Thursday night, alumna Maricel Presilla (GSAS '89) gave an enthusiastic talk about Ecuadorian chocolate. Martin Christy of seventypercent.com led the audience through the proper way of tasting chocolate, slowly bringing it to the mouth so that you see and smell it first then slowly letting it melt on your tongue. We were then treated to numerous samples of Ecuadorian chocolate and learned the history and geography of Ecuador and nacional cacao.

Here's our interview with Maricel, filmed at the chocolate show.




Maricel Presilla is a culinary historian specializing in the foods of Latin America and Spain. She holds a doctorate in medieval Spanish history from New York University and has received formal training in cultural anthropology.

Dr. Presilla has done considerable research on Latin American agriculture – with special emphasis on tropical crops, cacao and vanilla agriculture, and chocolate production. She is the president of Gran Cacao Company a Latin American food research and marketing company that specializes in the sale of premium cacao beans from Latin America. Her latest book is The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Chocolate with Recipes (Ten Speed Press, 2001). Maricel

She has completed a comprehensive Latin American cookbook for W.W. Norton and has contributed articles for Saveur, Food & Wine, Food Arts, and Gourmet.

She writes a weekly food column for the Miami Herald and is as comfortable sailing down the Orinoco to collect recipes in the field as she is cooking at Zafra and Cucharamama, her pan-Latin restaurants in Hoboken, New Jersey. Last year she opened Ultramarinos, a Latin American store and cooking atelier, also in Hoboken, NJ, where she sells Latin ingredients, prepared foods, premium chocolates and Blue Cacao, her own line of truffles with Latin flavors.


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