Sex in a Cup: Feminist Dilemmas in French Chocolate

Author(s): Kathryn E Sampeck

Year: 2017


This paper considers the intertwining of chocolate-related material culture, representation in paintings and drawings, gender, and recipes across the colonial French Atlantic world. During the eighteenth century, chocolate moved from being an exotic luxury to a daily necessity. In fact, chocolate was one of the crucial items that Loyalist escapees from the French Revolution asked for when they moved to French Azilum in Pennsylvania. During this time, chocolate also became increasingly gendered, a woman’s drink, food, and flavor. It was not a flavor for all sweet foods, but did appear in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French cookbooks consistently. The tools of chocolate preparation and consumption, the social context of these activities, and the increasingly potent association of chocolate with sex, beauty, and fertility suggest much about changing gender ideologies in the French colonial world.

Cite this Record

Sex in a Cup: Feminist Dilemmas in French Chocolate. Kathryn E Sampeck. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435358)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 588