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Chocolate, Chili & Cochineal: Changing Taste Around the World

Charles M. Carrillo (Hispanic), Northern New Mexico, "La Divina Pastora," 2007, retablo painted with cochineal. Private collection.



Opening February 16, 2013;

Through November 2014

Chocolate joins many other delectably displayed depictions of foods in the Heard’s presentation about several edibles many people might be surprised to know are from the Americas.

The exhibit explores foods — chili, tomatoes, potatoes, peanuts, avocados, maple syrup, corn, beans, squash — and a tiny insect, the cochineal, indigenous to the Americas that when exported greatly affected other parts of the world. Sixteenth-century Spanish conquistadors guarded the source of the brilliant red dye derived from cochineal, the tiny insect that feeds on prickly pear cactus.

Cochineal was used in historic Navajo textiles and santos from Northern New Mexico, including La Divina Pastora (left) by Charles M. "Charlie" Carrillo (b. 1956).

Sponsored by The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation and the Arizona Humanities Council.



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