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Coffee/Tea German Chocolate

german chocolate
512px-Becher_Kakao_mit_Sahneh%C3%A4ubchen.jpg
(from The Housekeeper's Encyclopedia of Useful Information for the Housekeeper, by E. F. Haskell, 1861)

Ingredients:

4 tbsp. fine grated chocolate​
2 quarts rich milk​
the whites of 4 eggs​
the yolks of 2 eggs​
1 gill of cold milk​
1 coffee cup of chocolate​
flavor with nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon​
sugar​

Instructions:

Four large table-spoons of the best chocolate grated fine, two quarts rich milk added gradually to the chocolate, the whites of four and yolks of two eggs beaten light, but not separated; add one gill of cold milk to the eggs, beat well; add gradually a coffee-cup of the chocolate to the milk and eggs while hot, beating constantly. Take the chocolate to the milk and egg while hot, beating constantly. Take the chocolate from the fire, keep it hot but not boiling, and add the egg and milk gradually; stir constantly, or it will curdle; flavor with nutmeg, vanilla, or cinnamon, as desired; sugar it to suit the taste. The Germans use no sugar. The egg is to be added just before serving. This makes a very delicious drink. Serve in Chocolate bowls.​


Interpretated for today:

Take four large tablespoons of grated chocolate with two quarts of milk. While that heats, in another bowl, beat the whites of four eggs with the yolks of two and add one "gill" of milk. When the chocolate mixture is hot enough, remove from the fire and slowly mix in the egg/milk mixture, stirring the whole time to prevent curdling. Add vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg and serve in mugs. You can still add sugar to taste.​

Photo by Becher Kakao mit Sahnehäubchen - CC BY-SA 3.0
 
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Craig L Barry

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
The Union had hot chocolate:
February 22nd 1863.Sabbath, a severe rain with wind and consequently quite dreary without. Lay in tent all day, not going out but once and then to make some chocolate. (Diary of Sgt Henry Tisdale, 35th Mass Inf)

The Johnnies did, too:
Sept. 14, 1864- upon capturing a rebel supply depot, we were quite surprised to find what our enemy subsisted upon. aside from similar particulars including hard tack and smoked meats, it appears our southern brethren quite prefer the taste of peaches, a canned version of what appears to be bologna links, and milk sweetened by what appears to be chocolate. no sooner had we found these peculiar rations than we were fired upon by a rebel ambush. two men were wounded, and the only remaining container of the milk was punctured by a minie ball.
 
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3rd TN Cav USA

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Location
New Mexico
The Union had hot chocolate:
February 22nd 1863.Sabbath, a severe rain with wind and consequently quite dreary without. Lay in tent all day, not going out but once and then to make some chocolate. (Diary of Sgt Henry Tisdale, 35th Mass Inf)

The Johnnies did, too:
Sept. 14, 1864- upon capturing a rebel supply depot, we were quite surprised to find what our enemy subsisted upon. aside from similar particulars including hard tack and smoked meats, it appears our southern brethren quite prefer the taste of peaches, a canned version of what appears to be bologna links, and milk sweetened by what appears to be chocolate. no sooner had we found these peculiar rations than we were fired upon by a rebel ambush. two men were wounded, and the only remaining container of the milk was punctured by a minie ball.

Where is the quote about the Confederate supplies from ?
 

Craig L Barry

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
Mr. Barry great finds about the chocolate. Thanks so much for posting.

I look for primary sources. It's a holdover from The Watchdog days. That's how research should be done and if anything is there, then get the word out. We had an idea posted in the form of this German receipt for an interesting chocolate hot drink, a good idea on an aspect of material culture that may be more far reaching. We want to know how this may have impacted civilian and/or military life in the mid-19th century. In my case, more so military life but also civilian. All soldiers were civilians before they were in the war. What do the primary sources have to say?...It was interesting that some number of soldiers on both sides were brewing chocolate beverages up on a winter day. I also found some references where it was being admininstered by nurses to wounded soldiers in hospitals, and the soldiers expressed a strong preference for spirits instead. I knew condensed milk was a staple in hospitals but apparently chocolate, too. See the following:

"Of course soldiers hoped for that elusive package (from home), it was their biggest thrill...in one case the soldier was happy with the contents but said all it lacked was a little gin. The nurse replied, "Well if it had, the entire contents would have been been confiscated." Unpreterbed the soldier said, "Confiscated indeed? What am I, one of your cream and chocolate men?" (Rhode Island's Civil War Hospital: Life and Death at Portsmouth Grove, 1862-1865 By Frank L. Grzyb).
campfire.jpg


Plus the drink really sounded rich and good. In the interest of conducting a much needed field test for all our sakes, I made some at home. My cupboard is actually the kind of place where you might find blocks of this kind of chocolate for just such an experiment. Green Rio coffee beans for roasting and grinding are in there, too. Salt pork in the freezer, dried beans, etc. The German hot chocolate is very much like a custard in liquid form, but the drink needed sugar...lots of sugar in order to be a palatable concoction for the modern taste spectrum which is much more inclined toward sweet than savory.
 
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donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
May 12, 2010
Location
Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
I found another reference of drinking hot chocolate. It is from John N. Robinson who was born in Quincy, Florida in 1845. He served in the Confederate Army. The excerpt is from an oral history interview conducted with him by the Federal Writer's Project.

John Robinson was captured at the Battle of Gettysburg in Longstreet's charge and was taken to Fort Donaldson.

He states: "The Union guards kept a commissary and they had a big supply of chocolate. I ate chocolate candy and drank hot chocolate in place of coffee until I never wanted any chocolate since."

From "Captured During Longstreet's Charge at Gettysburg", "American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940."

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterialactivities/presentations/ti...
 

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
May 12, 2010
Location
Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
I also found where the Pry House Field Museum had a program last year in January called "Drink It In: Refreshments of the Civil War". Staff at the Pry House talked about how coffee, hot cocoa, mulled cider and other warming drinks were important to soldiers and civilians, North and South, throughout the war.

This would have been a very informative program to attend. I wonder if they would have any written materials on this program. If so I would order it.

Have any of you been to the Pry House Field Hospital Museum? Do you know if they publish material or articles on their programs?
 
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