The history of chocolate making in Turin – Experimental Archaeology Network (EXARC)

The project exploits the potential of experimental archaeology in order to investigate the history of chocolate and establish a correct methodological approach to detect the presence of exotic food. Thanks to the EXARC Award we are testing whether the presence of chocolate can be detected in dental calculus, and how the S. Maria della Stella 18th century nun community (From text to teeth) was known from historical documents to have prepared and consumed one of the first chocolates produced in Turin (Italy). We sourced the main ingredients used to make these chocolates and recreated the “nuns’ chocolates” recipe.

Our goal is the creation of a reference collection of plant micro-remains which will help identify the ingredients in dental calculus, and we are also testing the potential of Sequential Thermal Desorption/Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry.

Funded by

The Experimental Archaeology Network (EXARC).

Principal Investigator
  • Ms. Sarah Sandron, University of Turin
Co-Investigators & collaborators

Dr Anita Radini (University College Dublin), Prof. Beatrice Demarchi (University of Turin), Dr Cynthianne Spiteri (University of Turin).