Chocolate Primer mixes sweet history and colonial cocoa sampling, Feb. 9

(NEW BEDFORD, Mass.)  — Impress your Valentine with your knowledge of chocolate at the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s “Pre-Valentine’s Day Chocolate Primer,” on Saturday, February 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The free public event features talks by two chocolate historians and sampling of authentic colonial chocolate beverage recipes in the Jacobs Family Gallery.

Chocolate became a highly regarded addition to ship’s fare on whaling and merchant vessels according to “Chocolate: History Culture and Heritage,” a definitive 1000-page reference on chocolate and its development as a global industry. Two of the book’s contributing authors will talk in the Cook Memorial Theater. The book is available in the Museum store.

Christopher Kelly will present: “Chocolate at Sea: Use Aboard Whaling and Merchant Ships in the 19th Century” at 11:00 a.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater.

Timothy D. Walker, Ph.D., will present "A History of Chocolate in early New England: Where does cocoa come from and how was it made?" at 1:00 p.m. in the theater.

Christopher Kelly is a writer musician, and filmmaker. A graduate of UMass Dartmouth’s History program, he conducted research on the use of chocolate aboard nineteenth century New Bedford whaling voyages.

Dr. Walker is an Associate Professor of History, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he is also the Fulbright Program Advisor for faculty and students. He has served as Associate Director of the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, is a member of the graduate faculty of the Department of Portuguese Studies, and is an Affiliated Researcher of the Centro de História de Além-Mar (CHAM), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. A New Bedford resident, Dr. Walker is a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow.

The program is sponsored by American Heritage Chocolate® – part of the historic division of Mars, Incorporated – which manufactures chocolate products using authentic colonial recipes made only from ingredients available during the 18th century, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, chili pepper, orange and vanilla. American Heritage Chocolate products will also be available for sale, with demonstrations and free samplings at 10:00 a.m. and noon.

Admission is free to the Pre-Valentine’s Day Chocolate Primer. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Regular admission rates apply to the Museum galleries.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of whales, whaling and the cultural history of the region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. For a complete calendar of events:

For more information, contact:
Arthur Motta
Director, Marketing & Communications
(508) 997-0046, ext. 153