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The Museum of International Folk Art is turning to food for its upcoming exhibit, titled “New World Cuisine: The Histories of Chocolate, Mate Y Mas.” Opening Dec. 9 and running through Jan. 5, 2014, the exhibit focuses on the mixed roots of today’s food. In addition to exploring the origins of culinary favorites, the exhibit reveals how certain dishes have become associated with New Mexico.
The exhibit reaches back to the Old World with more than 300 objects on view. On display are artifacts related to food harvesting, table settings, food preparation and utilitarian and decorative implements. Exhibited items include traditional pottery cooking vessels to Asian and European spice jars that were retrofitted with precise locking metal lids in Mexico City in order to guard a household’s supply of cacao from thieves.
It turns out that a taste for chocolate can be traced even further back in time.
“It’s such a fabulous history,” curator Nicolasa Chavez said. “We’re borrowing one little teeny tiny pottery sherd from Chaco Canyon that was tested for theobroma (chocolate’s scientific name). In the exhibit, I wanted to really bring home to New Mexico that we’ve had a 1,000-year-old love affair with chocolate.”