I couldn’t resist National Chocolate Chip Day.
I covered chocolate slightly on May 3’s National Chocolate Custard Day and was quite surprised to learn cacao grows on a tree.
Christopher Columbus first encountered chocolate after a native’s canoe was seized and it was found aboard. It was so valuable the cacao bean was often used as currency. Can you believe that when Christopher Columbus brought cacao seeds to Spain they weren’t really paid attention to? It took the Spanish Friars about a decade to introduce chocolate. Originally only served as a drink. Often mixed with cornmeal.
In 1847 Joseph Fry created a chocolate paste and pressed into bar shaped molds. In 1849 John Cadbury created a similar product. Both being made with bittersweet chocolate and not very palatable. In 1875 Henry Nestle added evaporated milk making the bar more enjoyable.
In 1879, Rodolphe Lindt added cocoa butter back into the chocolate which produced a bar that would remain in its hardened shape and would melt on the tongue.
In 1900 the Hershey Company produced the first wrapped chocolate bar, the Hershey bar, which is still produced 115 years later. That’s pretty remarkable in itself.
According to culinary historians, the first historic record of cookies was their use as test cakes. A small amount of cake batter was baked to test the oven temperature.
By the end of the 14th century, you could buy little filled wafers on the streets of Paris. Renaissance cookbooks were rich in cookie recipes.
Chocolate chips were invented in 1937 when Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in the town of Whitman, Massachusetts, USA, added cut-up chunks of a semi-sweet Nestlé chocolate bar to a cookie recipe.
It’s interesting to see all the well known names in chocolate and their history in it all.