Anfossi, Dell’uso ed abuso della cioccolata (Venice, 1779)

Originally posted at, the now-discontinued blog of the OU History of Science Collections. Neither this post nor any of its content should be taken as an official communication of the University of Oklahoma.

Giovanni Anfossi, Dell'uso ed abuso della cioccolata (Venice, 1779)Is it cold outside? Why not warm up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate?

So advised the 18th-century Italian physician Giovanni Anfossi, in a work recently acquired by the History of Science Collections:

Dell’uso ed abuso della cioccolata (Venice, 1779).

His recommendation was not unqualified, however. Anfossi’s treatise on the origin, composition, and medicinal use of chocolate contains, among other things, arguments both for and against drinking chocolate. Ultimately, however, Anfossi praised the use of chocolate for its high nutritional value, its aphrodisiac qualities, and as a panacea for all sorts of physical maladies.

Got kids? Chocolate might make them high-strung. Anfossi concluded (as did many of his contemporaries) that chocolate, like coffee, was harmful to children and should only be consumed by adults!

The OU copy of Anfossi is bound in contemporary hand-painted wrappers illustrating the cocoa bean plant (below).

Giovanni Anfossi, Dell'uso ed abuso della cioccolata (Venice, 1779)

In the spirit of Anfossi’s wise counsel, History of Science Collections worker Carilyn Giuliano Livesey has prepared her own special hand-made chocolates (below) as door prizes for tomorrow’s Library Christmas party!

Carilyn Giuliano Livesey, hand-made chocolates

This entry was posted in History of Science, Holidays. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *