National Chocolates Day
Written by Swaati on November 29, 2022
Chocolate is one of the greatest pleasures that life has to offer, providing hope in the darkness of what might be an otherwise drab culinary experience. Chocolate didn’t find its way into the culinary repertoire of the western world until the Spanish learned of it from the Mayan people of Mesoamerica.
From this simple beginning, it has spread throughout the world to be one of the most desired treats of all social and economic classes. National Chocolates Day celebrates the history of this delicious treat, especially in one of its most popular forms, a variety of chocolates.
History of National Chocolates Day
Once they discovered chocolate, the Spanish actually kept the new substance to themselves for many years, typically making it into a beverage and drinking it. But in 1579, a Spanish vessel was attacked by English Pirates, finding it full of cocoa beans. Being unfamiliar with the delicious substance, they set fire to the vessel thinking they had conquered a vessel full of sheep droppings. The Spanish fell in love with the substance and were the first to start adding sugar to it.
Through all this time it was being consumed in much the same way that people consume hot chocolate or coffee today, so when did solid chocolate candies eventually come about?
In 1829 the cocoa press was invented, and with it came cocoa powder, cocoa butter and then solid chocolate. This invention was used to bring chocolate to the world, bringing it out of the exclusive province of the wealthy. As a result, it created a whole new type of chocolate and changed the nature of desserts and sweet treats forever.
In 1847 the first chocolate bar was invented, and its one thousand year history as a substance consumed only as a liquid came to an end. Only two years later, the Cadbury company in England came up with the idea for a box of chocolates, which they made available specifically for Valentine’s Day. The company eventually became the official chocolatier for the royal house of Queen Victoria.
Following the invention of solid chocolate bars came the creation of chocolate covered candies. 1866 brought about the chocolate cream bar from J.S. Fry & Sons, which gave way to a variety of other ideas, including the combination of peppermint with chocolate, the evolution of truffles, covering fruit in chocolate and a wide variety of other ideas.
1875 saw the creation of milk chocolate, and every innovation from there on out has gone towards making chocolate richer, creamier, and more delicious than ever. It is this initial bar and everything after that National Chocolates Day celebrates.