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“Death by Chocolate” Afternoon Tea

By Mary Norquist

“Death by Chocolate”…..ever wonder where that phrase came from? There are many stories about it and here are a few.

Day of the Dead event
Mujeres en Cambio presents:
“Death by Chocolate” a Day of the Dead Tea
Thu, Oct 30, 3pm
At a private home and garden/address on ticket
Tickets: 250 pesos
Available at La Conexion
(Aldama 3 and Café Monet)

“Death by Chocolate” is currently used more as a marketing term than anything else. It refers to various desserts that feature chocolate (especially dark chocolate or cocoa) as its primary ingredient. The trademark in the US was owned by S&A Restaurant Group, the parent company of Bennigan’s restaurants, but with the subsequent bankruptcy of the company, the current legal status is unclear. In the United Kingdom and European Union, the registered trade mark rights belong to F. T. Wood & Sons Limited. However, unlicensed uses of the term are common.

In the late 1970s, several restaurants in the Cleveland area offered a “Death by Chocolate” dessert in response to the demand created by the mention of a fictional dish of the same name on Barnaby & Friends, a children’s television show. This usually consisted of chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, chocolate brownies and chocolate syrup layered in a tall parfait glass.

In 1981, at Jeffrey Fields’ restaurant in Santa Monica called Les Anges, the pastry chef invented a chocolate cake that they called “la Mort au Chocolat” which included multiple layers of chocolate mousse, ganache, and meringue.

On a more sinister note, there was a Nazi plot to kill Winston Churchill with a bar of exploding chocolate during the Second World War, giving a new twist on the name “Death by Chocolate.” Adolf Hitler’s bomb makers coated explosive devices with a thin layer of rich dark chocolate, then packaged them in expensive-looking black and gold paper. The Germans apparently planned to use secret agents working in Britain to discreetly place the bars—branded as Peter’s Chocolate—among other luxury items taken into the dining room used by the War Cabinet during the conflict. The lethal slabs of confection were packed with enough explosives to kill anyone within several meters. But the plot was foiled by British spies who tipped off one of M15’s most senior intelligence chiefs, Lord Victor Rothschild, before the wartime prime minister’s life could be endangered.

All this is very interesting but nothing to compare with the Mujeres en Cambio “Death by Chocolate” Day of the Dead Tea, to be held October 30 at 3pm at a beautiful private home and garden. It`s easy to get to; the address is on each ticket. We will have tea and a special Agua de Cocoa provided by Eduardo Villers, owner of Mente Cocoa on Zacateras. Villers will also give a short presentation about chocolate. In addition, we will nosh on wonderful chocolate confections and candies including some savory bits as well.

Tickets are 250 pesos and are available at La Conexion (Aldama 3 and Café Monet).


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