Sephardic Jews are reputed to have introduced chocolate processing into the Pays Basque in the 1600s after being expelled in 1492 from the Iberian peninsula. While researching the local history of chocolate, I met and interviewed traditional and emerging bar-to-bonbon chocolatiers in Bayonne, Biarritz, Espelette, and

Cambo-les-Bains and also visited chocolate museums. I returned the following spring to attend the “Journées du Chocolat” festival in Bayonne and to be inducted as Ambassadrice du Chocolat (May 14, 2010).

SPONSORS: The Julia Child Scholarship Fund through The Culinary Trust/IACP; Scholar’s Grant, National Coalition of Independent Scholars under the auspices of The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture.

 Pays Basque, France

November 2009, May 2010

Chocolate as Muse

(“VOYAGE AUX PAYS DU CHOCOLAT”)