Boston historian to talk chocolate, lots of chocolate

24 Aug

Author, historian, and former Milton resident Anthony M. Sammarco has made it his business to know everything there is to know about chocolate. After all, the country’s earliest producer of the decadent delicacy was located for centuries on the Dorchester/Milton line.

Now of Boston and Osterville, Sammarco will lecture on his best-selling book “The Baker Chocolate Company: A Sweet History,” on Thursday, Sept 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the Dedham Historical Society.

A book signing will follow the event to be held at 612 High St., Dedham. Copies will be available at $21.99. Seating is limited.

Sammarco said he wrote the book after lecturing on the subject for two decades and leading walking tours around the former facility in Dorchester Lower Mills.

Baker’s Chocolate is still one of the most famous brands around. The company was launched when Dr. James Baker joined forced with John Hannon in 1780 to form Baker’s Chocolate, producing one of the country’s first packaged products that soon became available nationwide.

At first, the baking squares were grated into water to make a sweetened chocolate drink. The company put out recipes later, one of the most noted being for German Chocolate Cake. The company is now owned by Kraft Family Foods.

By the late 19th century, the company was known internationally and had earned acclaim for the purity and quality of its chocolate and cocoa.

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Currently, Sammarco is writing “Howard Johnson: 28 Favors,” about the iconic ice-cream entrepreneur whose orange-roofed restaurants were family favorites for decades.

Sammarco has written more than 50 books on the history of Boston and surrounding cities and towns including “Milton: A compendium,” and “Dorchester: A Compendium.” He teaches history at the Urban College of Boston, and has made presentations on public radio and television.

And between his longtime publisher Arcadia, which is releasing yet another new book next month called “Hyde Park Then & Now,” and The History Press, which published the Baker book, he said he feels assured his work will continue to be made available to the public for a long time to come.

“I just enjoy writing and spreading local history,’’ he said.

For more information, contact the Dedham Historical Society at 781-326-1385.

Michele Morgan Bolton can be reached at

Article posted by Spencer Samaroo, Managing Director, Moo-Lolly-Bar
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Source and Photo: Boston.Com

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