Dec 30, 2017
This mini-episode is just a little taster, chocolate will get a
FULL ON episode in the future, here we are just focusing on
Christmas chocolates such as chocolate coins, chocolate tins and
trays. From its roots in South and Central America cacao has
created joy and good tidings everywhere it has gone and we love to
gift it, share it and gorge on it at Christmas.
yougov.uk did a really snazzy poll this year to find out which
chocolates were the favourites from the Roses, Quality Street,
Celebrations and Heroes Christmas tubs. Comments unanimously
denounced the size and quality of the sweets, the plastic tub which
has replaced the tins, the moment that Cadbury’s succumbed to
Kraft, the fallen sweets of yesteryear which have been retired and
my favourite comment from 1984again - “Anyone who likes chocolate
would not eat any of this stuff. It's not chocolate anymore.”
- Milk chocolate was invented in 1876.
- Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao plant native to
Central and South America and was vital to the Maya and Aztec who
used a raw bitter cacao drink ceremoniously in wedding, battle and
burial rituals. It was not consumed by all but reserved by the
- From the cacao tree we get the seeds or nuts which result in
raw cacao power when the cocoa beans are un-roasted and
cold-pressed. Cocoa powder has been roasted under high heat.
- Raw cacao powder is full of antioxidants,contains protein,
calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, and sulfur. high
in valuable enzymes, can reduce blood pressure and chances of
cardiovascular disease, can raise serotonin levels.
- Spanish Explorer Cortez brought back a recipe and the necessary
equipment and had experimented with adding heat to the mixture to
make it more palatable.
- Cacao was not an immediate success when it was introduced to
Spain in the early 16th century… but once sugar was added to cocoa
powder and served warm, it really took off and its benefits and its
status as a drink of the wealthy and specifically a drink of
- Eventually warm cocoa spread to France and the rest of Europe
and took over as a predecessor to tea and coffee-houses with
wealthy men enjoying the custom of drinking hot cocoa at specific
cafe-like houses where thy would discuss politics and current
- The industrial revolution improved grinding process and
introduced additives which brought down the cost of cocoa and
widened the audience of those who would enjoy it.
- In 1847 the world saw it’s first chocolate bar as chocolate
went from being a drink to an edible food.
- Chocolate shaped like coins, wrapped in gold foil given to
children and put in stockings at Christmas and given to children
during Chanukah. This tradition also has links to the tradition of
St Nicholas gifting gold to the poor as told in the Twelve Foods of
Christmas orange episode.
- Chocolate manufacturers soon found an opportunity in Christmas
chocolate selections that they could sell high price offerings that
were popular amongst families who they would provide with an array