Dr Kate Loveman of the University's School of English has published a new paper, The Introduction of Chocolate into England: Retailers, Researchers, and Consumers, 1640–1730, in the Journal of Social History exploring the early history of chocolate in England.
She has found the first English recipes for iced chocolate treats, collected by the Earl of Sandwich in 1668 – some hundred years before his great, great grandson allegedly invented the sandwich.
The Earl's own recipe reads: "Prepare the chocolatti [to make a drink]… and Then Putt the vessell that hath the Chocolatti in it, into a Jaraffa [i.e. a carafe] of snow stirred together with some salt, & shaike the snow together sometyme & it will putt the Chocolatti into tender Curdled Ice & soe eate it with spoons."
Dr Loveman said: "It's not chocolate ice-cream, but more like a very solid and very dark version of the iced chocolate drinks you get in coffee shops today. Freezing food required cutting-edge technology in seventeenth-century England, so these ices were seen as great luxuries."
The entire article can be found here. [ Opens a new window. At phys.org ]
The article concludes:
Dr Loveman's research provides an illustration of the social and commercial mechanisms by which an exotic import won English consumers and began the journey to becoming an established part of our culture.
It also reveals some of the continuities in chocolate advertising across the centuries, as well as sharp differences. Dr Loveman added: "Today's chocolate promoters, like some in the seventeenth century, often find cause to highlight women, pleasure, and sexuality.
"In the seventeenth century, however, the fact that frequent chocolate consumption might make you 'Fat and Corpulent' was an attraction, something advertisers now prefer to keep quiet about."