Easter is rapidly approaching: We are delighted to launch our Easter offerings – along with a quick recap of the history of chocolate and Easter below.
And we are also very excited about a pair of Fine Wine and Craft Chocolate Tastings that we are launching with Corney and Barrow on Thursday 25th March and then 8th April at 8-00 pm UK time (see below and here).
Humans have been decorating eggshells for at least 60,000 years (the earliest recorded are Ostrich eggs in Africa). Eggs have been a religious symbol for millenia (the Zorastrians brought eggs to their King Norwuz to celebrate the new year at least 2,500 years ago).
More recently Edward I of England dyed over 450 eggs with onion skins to gift to his court for Easter in 1290. And then lightning struck in the French court of Louis XIV, where the first chocolate Easter Egg was created in Versailles, soon followed in Turin where Seignora Giambone started filling empty chicken egg shells with molten chocolate in 1725.
Returning to the UK, chocolate was co-opted into Easter by the Victorians. In addition to claiming the world’s first chocolate bar in 1847, J.S. Fry & Sons claim to have launched the first British Chocolate Easter egg in 1873, closely followed by Cadbury’s in 1875 (Cadbury’s did pip Fry’s to the post for Valentine’s Day boxes — see earlier blog).
Since then there has been no stopping the idea of chocolate Easter eggs, bunnies, chicks and more. It’s hard to obtain exact numbers but estimates of the UK gifting over 80 million eggs are often quoted – and that doesn’t include Creme Eggs (Cadbury’s sells annually over 500 million of these, two thirds in the UK).
We’d obviously like to encourage you to savour craft chocolate this Easter (especially if you’ve been on a Lenten fast), so we have a bunch of suggestions:
Along with any other Easter Festivities, we’d like to invite you to a Fine Wine and Craft Chocolate Tasting with Corney and Barrow’s Rebecca Palmer just before Easter on Thursday 25th March 8-00 pm UK time (and if you can’t make that date, we’ve a second date on the 8th April at 8pm UK time).
We are pairing two South American red wines with three different dark chocolates, and then matching Corney and Barrow’s house white burgundy from Francois Carillon with a dark milk chocolate from Standout using Iduki beans from India (trust us it really works) (see here and below). In addition to exploring the pairings, we plan to do a deep dive into tasting, flavour, texture and the art of savouring.
For any of you who have attended a Virtual Craft Chocolate Tasting you’ll be aware of the “Craft Chocolate Tasting Wave”. Rebecca, along with James Hoffmann and Professor Barry Smith, was instrumental in helping us develop the Wave (see here). We are looking forward to using menti.com with you to illustrate how this wave works for both wine and chocolate, as well as exploring the many similarities in how fine wines and craft chocolates are grown and crafted.
We’re looking forward to seeing you at Easter Egg making and Fine wine tastings.
P.S. For all subscribers, if you want to see tasting videos for all the bars of the month, please head to our YouTube channel.