Monday, February 20, 2012

Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World by Marcy Norton

Norton argues that through chocolate and tobacco, Amerindians influenced European society. Both of these goods are cultural artifacts that are bound with “knowledge and techniques” that were transmitted back to Spain along with the material goods (4). Colonists became acquainted with tobacco and chocolate as they made allies in the America. Some of them took their tastes back to Spain where they continued to use both goods in many of the same ways that Amerindians did, which is related to Norton’s central theme of syncretism (9).

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