Chocolate rebel: Le Chocolaterie de Jacques GeninThe most fashionable artisan chocolate maker in France today is Jacques Genin. The Wall Street Journal tells his story here. A sidebar to the article briefly describes Belgian chocolate makers Pierre Marolini, Wittamer, and Mary Chocolatier Confissur, Swiss chocolate maker Confiserie Sprüngli, and British chocolate maker Auer Chocolatier. By the way, when chocolate arrived in France around 1615, ordinary people were not allowed to consume the "food of the gods."
7 New Emerging Wine Regions
Global warming is partly responsible for emerging grape growing regions according to an article by Simon Majumdar at AskMen.com - here is the link.
Swiss referendum supports free heroin for addicts
In a recent referendum 69% of Swiss voters supported free heroin for addicts. For more, see here.
Alcohol abuse in 18th century Switzerland (book)
Nicole Stremberg Goy, Du buveur à l'ivrogne: le consistoire de Lausanne face à l'abus d'alcool, 1754 - 1791 (Lausanne, Switzerland: Éd. du Zèbre, 2006).
"Green Fairy" returns
After almost a century of illegality, absinthe--the so-called green fairy--has returned to barrooms. The USA (which banned the wormwood-based drink in 1912) has approved the importation of two brands. Switzerland, the land where absinthe originated, legalized its sale in 2005. For more, see here.
Public houses in early modern Switzerland
Beat Kümin, "Public houses and civic tensions in early modern Bern," Urban History 34/1 (2007): 89-101.
Safe injection sites for heroin addicts
The (London) Independent, 19 February 2007, reports a trend of public health authorities providing safe injection sites for heroin addicts. This occurs in parts of Western Europe (Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland) and sometimes elsewhere (Australia, Canada(. For more, see here.
Europeans turn to cocaine and alcohol as cannabis loses favour
Europeans are abandoning cannabis but turning to cocaine and drink, new figures from French customs reveal. The Observer reports.
Christian missionaries, Arabica coffee, and cocoa in Africa (Internet post)
In an H-World post on 11 July 2006 Roger B. Beck (Eastern Illinois University) pointed out that European missionaries played an important role in introducing cash crops to Africa. The (French Catholic) Holy Ghost Fathers developed Arabica coffee in what became Kenya during the second half of the nineteenth century, a coffee variety which resisted pests and disease. The (Swiss Protestant) Basel Mission introduced cocoa to the Gold Coast (later Ghana) during the nineteenth century. Its trading company made large profits in the late 1800s and the early 1900s.
Drugs, Desire, and European Economic Expansion (article)
Daniel Bradburd, William Jankowiak, “Drugs, Desire, and European Economic Expansion.” Drugs, labor, and colonial expansion. Ed. William Jankowiak and Daniel Bradburd. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2003, pp. 3 - 30.