Chocolate Jumbles celebrated in Esperance

— Photo from the Esperance Historical Society
Chocolate Jumbles will be served, for free, on June 11 at 1 p.m. when the Esperance Historical Society unveils a roadside marker celebrating the regional treat.

SCHOHARIE COUNTY — Esperance is just one of eight places nationwide to receive a Hungary for History grant to commemorate a famous food with a historic marker: The Great Chocolate Jumble Cookie.

The William G. Pomeroy Foundation is commemorating, with roadside markers, “significant food dishes created prior to 1970 and the role they played in defining American culture and forging community identity.”

Jumbles, a local favorite, “made it to America in time to be included in Martha Washington’s Cookbook,” according to the Esperance Historical Society.

“The early cookie,” the society says, “was flavored with lemon rind or rose water and traditionally has a hole in the center. The Chocolate Jumble cookie today has a heaviness to it, with a  strong molasses, chocolate, and spice taste with a hole in the center and topped with a sugar glaze icing.”

The society will dedicate its Hungry for History marker at the Esperance Museum on the Village Commons, on Church Street on June 11 at 1 p.m. Chocolate jumbles will be served at the free event.

When the Esperance Museum opened in 1970, it published a cookbook that included four Chocolate Jumble recipes, including one from Mrs. Elwood Gage (1871-1951).

The latest Esperance cookbook was published in 2018 for the village bicentennial and included 10 Chocolate Jumble recipes and a brief history of the cookie. It includes “Mrs. Fullers’ Chocolate Jumbles” from Blanche Hunter Borst’s recipe book. Borst (1885-1936) of Esperance was the first woman elected to a county position in Schoharie County, in 1919.

In 1916, an award for jumbles was given out at the Cobleskill now Schoharie County Fair. In 1939, Mrs. Foster W. Taylor won a prize from the Brer Rabbit Molasses Company for her Chocolate Jumble recipe.

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