The Chocolate Maid

chocolateThis potrait in pastels by jean-Etienne Liotard was probably done in 1743-44. He made a number of pastels on the same subject. Many when working in the court at Vienna. There are several romantic versions of the story of the young Chocolate Maid. It seems she was a young girl from a family of lesser nobility,who trained in court as a maiden and or companion of high  nobility. Anna Baltauf (the girl in the painting) caught the eye of young Prince von Dietrichstein, who fell in love and married her.

At the end of the 18th century in Europe chocolate remained a drink for the rich, particularly young ladies and particularly taken in bed in the mornings.The taking of morning chocolate was an integral part of aristocratic life.

In Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Despina the maid, complains that  she must beat her mistress’s chocolate for half an hour. But when she sneaks a taste she finds it delicious and worth the effort.

In the court of Versailles Mme de Sévigné in 1671 writes that chocolate was much in fashion at the court of Versailles. Chocolate was praised for it’s medicinal values and on the other hand blamed for certain unexpected side effects. One tale is of a noblewoman who drank so much choclate her baby was born the same colour as the drink!


Today Chocolate is as highly valued as in the time of the Chocolate Maid.
Consumed in different ways. And the high end of Chocolate consumption is on the rise with speciality shops and famous chefs opening new spaces for manufacturing and buying chocolate.

chocolate chocolateAlain Ducasse has just opened a chocolate factory in Paris. Artisanal chocolate making  in central Paris.Watch the film linked here.

Mast brothers in Brooklyn who have a chocolate factory and a special relationship to their cocoa growers. Watch the films linked here.

Said in Rome a restaurant,chocolate shop and cafe all housed in a 1920’s former chocolate factory.

Here’s a recipe for a truly decadent chocolate dessert.

chocolate fondantchocolate fondant chocolate fondant choclate maidWall tiles in a reconstructed kitchen at the Museum of Decorative Arts, Madrid. Whoops!!!!!!

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