Chocolate at Sturbridge

Posted by mrssmythe on February 9, 2014 in Kitchen, Out & About |

After Ginger finished her class, we were all pretty hungry, so we headed over to the OSV Tavern for something to eat.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t sure exactly where in the Tavern the food was being served, so the girls and I sort of wandered around until we ran into this woman who was demonstrating 19th century methods for making chocolate.


She was set up in front of a roaring fire in a fireplace so big we could have stood in it. The room was wonderfully warm. But even so, it was torture standing there in all that pleasant warmth, listening to her talk about chocolate. We were so hungry.

Yes, we could have cut her short and dashed off in search of food, but what she was saying was also very interesting…so, we stayed.

In her mini-lecture, she took us through the entire process of chocolate production beginning with the tree that produces the cacao beans. And, according to this woman, people mainly drank their chocolate in the early 19th century. Chocolate was too labor intensive to use for baking – or for simply eating. Which makes sense. I’m sure I’d eat a lot less of the stuff if I had to start by roasting cacao beans over a fire every time I had a craving.

Here’s the tool she used to grind the beans:


It’s a metate and was imported from Mexico. There’s a brazier underneath to warm the stone, and as you grind the beans, they soften and eventually melt.

Were there any samples to be had at the end of this lecture?

Sadly, no.

We left hungrier than ever. But we’d also learned something – so that made the delay worthwhile. (At least in my mind. I’m not sure if the kids agree.)

From the dining room table, wearing blue eye shadow because Pepper gave me a makeover this evening,

Mrs. Smythe



  • Jenn says:

    What a wonderful place to spend a February afternoon! All of our heritage villages close in the winter, so we have to wait until March break or summer to go with the throngs of other groups and tourists. That sunny bedroom was indeed a dream room! As for the demo, well, you had me at chocolate.

Comments are closed. Would you like to contact the author directly?

Copyright © 2013-2019 Mrs. Smythe All rights reserved.
This site is using the Desk Mess Mirrored theme, v2.5, from BuyNowShop.com.