Spaniards eagerly adopted chocolate in the Americas, using Mexican chocolateros to whisk and froth a beverage. Curator Kathy Deagan recovered millions of artifacts from Spanish Colonial archaeological sites, revealing much about cultural impacts and change.
Dr. Kathleen Deagan, distinguished research curator emerita of historical archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, has been instrumental in investigating the impacts of colonialism and the resulting blending of cultures. Her research has truly been interdisciplinary, involving archaeology, history, zooarchaeology, archaeobotany, geology and other fields. Dr. Deagan’s decades of research in the Caribbean, in the southeastern U.S., particularly in St. Augustine, has allowed us to have a better understanding of the daily lives and activities of the Europeans, Native Americans and Africans impacted by colonialism. In St. Augustine, Dr. Deagan found that it was primarily women who were the brokers of cultural exchange.
This wooden chocolate frother is a perfect example of the blending of cultures during the Spanish colonial period. Chocolate was unknown to Europeans before their arrival in the Americas, but it was used by native populations in Central America. The Spanish eagerly adopted chocolate into their cuisine using Mexican chocolateros, or chocolate frothers, to whisk a chocolate beverage.
Collection Manager, Historical Archaeology
Florida Museum of Natural History
Chocolatero (Chocolate Frother)
From St. Johns Co., Florida
Dates to 18th century