AFTER 22 YEARS in the university magazine business, I've finally published a piece in my alma mater's magazine. Please page through to pg. 26 for "Sweet Science," a profile of Jeffrey Hurst, a chemist at Hershey who found himself with a unique sideline: the archaeology of chocolate.
In conversation, Hurst comes across as precise, sober, modest, and still deeply fascinated by chemistry after 38 years as a chemist, an earnest and serious man not given to jokes. But now and then he offers some dry wit. He tells a story about a collaborative study he did years ago that involved sending chocolate samples to seven different laboratories. Data came back from six. Hurst waited, waited some more, and finally after several weeks called the seventh lab. “I said, ‘I need the results from the samples.’ And the guy said, ‘What samples?’ I said, ‘I sent you a box of samples about a month ago.’” There was a pause, and then the man said, “Oh shit, I ate them.”