It was an overcast day in mid-June when I found myself in the lobby of the de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco. I was visiting the museum on a whim. It wasn’t on my chocolate-themed travel itinerary. In fact, I thought it would be the perfect place to take a break from chocolate. Wrong!
You can call it synchronicity or Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, the fact is I see chocolate everywhere. Within minutes of walking in to the museum I found myself drawn towards an earthenware plate. The plate was painted with anthropomorphized monkey, that alone was enough to get my attention. Who doesn’t like a monkey wearing clothes? On closer inspection, I found the monkey was holding cacao pods!
In an adjacent room, I came across a heavy earthenware pot from A.D.400. A quick glance at the museum information card told me that it was Lidded vessel for chocolate. So much for a chocolate-free afternoon. I figured I’d be in the clear after leaving the Art of the Americas collection.
I meandered through the gallery falling hopelessly in love with Motherwell’s At Five in the Afternoon, an abstract work inspired by the Spanish Civil War. You know what else was inspired by the Spanish Civil War? M & M’s! Forrest Mars created M & M’s after observing Spanish soldiers eating candy-coated chocolate balls. The New York Times told me this, so it must be true.
On the second floor of the museum, I explored the glorious Masterworks of African Figurative Sculpture. I had a strong feeling that some cacao art might pop up in this exhibit since the majority of the world’s cacao supply comes from Africa. You can imagine my delight when I set eyes on the cacao pod coffin!
Be still my beating heart…and then bury me in a bright orange cocoa pod!
Jasmine co-founded Chocolate Codex as a way to share her enthusiasm for chocolate. She has a certificate in Chocolate making from Ecole Chocolat and she runs a foodblog called The Blenderist.