Death by Chocolate

An extract:

“Death By Chocolate – The fanciful name of this famous chocolate cake conjures up images of an exquisite death caused by over-indulgence.

There are, however, several tales of passion and intrigue in which chocolate is the cause of death.

One such story concerns the Bishop of Chiapas in Mexico, who banned the ladies of his diocese from drinking chocolate in his cathedral, a habit which helped sustain them during his interminable sermons.

Revenge was theirs, however, when an irate group of ladies persuaded the Bishop’s page to add a poison to his chocolate – a pleasure in which he freely indulged himself – and he died an agonising death.

In Mexico, to this day, those seeking to impose their views on others are warned: ‘Beware the Chocolate of Chiapas!’ “


The East India Company - Book of Chocolate

Every bit as engaging as it is amusing; our Book of Chocolate is full of wonderful stories from its origins in South America to the present day. Very readable and beautifully illustrated.

The East India Company - Lifestyle



• A recipe for an Aztec Chocolate Drink.

• How to make chocolate from a cocoa pod.

• Why did Samuel Pepys love chocolate?

• About a chocolate poisoning in the court of Louis XIII

• When Chocolate Houses were the Starbucks of their day!

• Is Chocolate really an aphrodisiac?

• And much more…

• Author: Anthony Wild

• First Published in 1995 by HarperCollins

• ISBN: 978-0-9561221-3-1

• Dimensions: 13.34 * 0.64 * 17.15 cm

• Language: English

• Hardcover

• Pages: 64


The London Chocolate Houses

London arrived rather late to the chocolate party... Cocoa was used as a beverage over 2000 years ago by the Mayans, who, like the later Aztecs, used cocoa as a special occasion beverage, to reward brave warriors and as an aphrodisiac. Both empires also used cocoa beans as currency.

Columbus first brought cocoa back to Spain in 1502 to little acclaim but after Cortes conquered Montezuma and the Aztecs, he successfully introduced cocoa, transformed from bitterness with sugar or honey, to the Spanish court, saying “One of this precious drink allows a man to walk a whole day without taking nourishment.”

Chocolate soon arrived in Britain, being first sold in 1657 in The Coffee Mill & Tobacco Roll. It was all things to all people: to some, as with the Aztecs, it was the viagra of the day; to others including Samuel Pepys, a hangover cure.

London Chocolate Houses also became the fashionable meeting places for the elite of London society, as well as being dens of iniquity for the colourful characters of London. The surviving White’s Chocolate House was like all, an all-male establishment, charging a penny for entrance, whilst The Cocoa Tree in Pall Mall saw Tory strategy developed over cups of chocolate.

The East India Company did trade in cocoa, paying 2 shillings in tax per pound of cocoa imported by 1760, the equivalent to one day’s wages, for these beguiling cargoes of cocoa from far off lands, but in truth was more engaged in tea than chocolate. And industrialisation made chocolate a food for the masses around this time and Chocolate Houses soon fell out of fashion.

Our spirit delivers no ordinary products

  • Delivery & Returns

    UK Standard Delivery: £3.95
    UK Next Day Delivery (mainland UK only): £9.95 (Order before 12pm)
    International Delivery is available, please see our delivery page for details. For more information and Terms & Conditions, please see our Delivery page.

  • Reviews

The East India Company - Book of Chocolate

£5.99 Sold out
£47.19 £47.19