Monday, May 13, 2013


And I'm not talking about Britain's goddess of cuisine, Nigella! No, tonight's post is about another of my favourite ladies, the Greek goddess Demeter, and that most divine of foods, chocolate.  

Those clever people at Modica's Antica Dolceria Bonajuto have put the two together and produced a chocolate medallion featuring the head of Demeter. They got the idea two years ago when they worked on a project for the Museo Biscari with Sicilian goldsmith Massimo Izzo and Catania-born designer Marella Ferrera. Back then, they produced a gold chocolate impression of the goddess but now they have decided to produce a whole line of chocolate deities, each made with the same type of mould that Massimo Izzo uses to make his "real" jewels and presented in its own jewelbox. The line, appropriately, is called cioccolato-gioiello.

For those of you who do not know of Demeter and Persephone's connection with Sicily, here is an edited version of a post I wrote about this in 2007:

Persephone [Core / Kora], daughter of Zeus and Demeter [Ceres], was abducted by Hades [Aidoneus / Pluto] whilst gathering flowers at Enna*. Demeter's grief for her daughter knew no bounds and she wandered the earth trying to find her, neglecting her duties as goddess of corn and so causing a worldwide famine. Zeus, forced to intervene, persuaded Hades to allow Persephone to return from the underworld, but she was tricked into eating some pomegranate seeds, the "food of the dead". [According to Robert Graves in The Greek Myths, there was an ancient taboo on red-coloured food.] This precluded Persephone's return to earth. Sources vary in their accounts of how many seeds she ate - Homer says one, Graves seven, Tennyson assumes three, other sources six - but it was agreed that Persephone would spend a month with Hades for each one. Let us believe, for the sake of the story, that it was three or four. Thus Persephone spends the winter months with her husband, returning to earth and Demeter for the spring. She brings much-needed rain for the crops with her as the lucky girl had received Sicily as a wedding present. Therefore it is only fitting that she should take special care of it.
* The Sicilians, and I, believe it was at Enna. It could have been almost anywhere in the Greek world.


Jenny Woolf said...

Chocolate gods and goddesses! That is something new :)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I thought it was a great idea, Jenny.

Lee said...

And just when I was going to buy some pomegranate juice!!

James Higham said...

I don't know how you manage to resist such delicacies down your way.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Sorry, Lee! Nor do I, James....


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