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  • Sep 22

    We love you Belgium, but…

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  History & Culture

    Belgian chocolate has quite the reputation. It likes to claim various titles ranging from “best chocolate in the world” and “the homeland of our favourite sweet treat”. Just seeing the word ‘Belgian’ on a label encourages some consumers to believe they are purchasing a luxury product, hailing from a land where the streets are paved […]

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  • Sep 05

    Not So Sweet: The Dark History of Chocolate

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Ethics, History & Culture

    Chocolate has established itself as a staple commodity in our lives; transforming from an inaccessible, handmade luxury to an overabundant result of mass production. The worldwide commodification of chocolate and our quest for the cheapest price, however, perpetuate the problems that persist from chocolate’s colonial history over the last 500 years. Colonial Commodities As the […]

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  • Sep 05

    How to Drink Hot Chocolate According to Three Fictional Characters

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture

    Chocolate bars are a rather recent invention, dating back to just 1847 when Fry and Sons launched their solid moulded chocolate. We’ve been drinking the stuff for a lot longer. No surprise then that hot chocolate turns up in various literary classics. How Many People Does It Take To Make A Cup of Cocoa? For […]

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  • Sep 03

    We Need Chocolate Teen Fiction!

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture

    Chocolate for breakfast.Chocolate for lunch.Chocolate for dinner.Chocolate for brunch. Although I’m not sure that this is quite what doctors have in mind when they advocate a balanced diet, it is certainly a childhood dream. Chocolate at every meal, mountains of chocolate, rivers of the stuff. Chocolate bars, cakes, ice cream. Éclairs, hot chocolate, even chocolate […]

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  • Sep 03

    How Chocolate Is Made, the Willy Wonka Way

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture

    It’s hard to imagine how a knobbly, shiny, multicoloured pod becomes a beautiful, smooth, easy-to-eat bar. Who better to glean the industry secrets from than the man who makes bars, ‘far sweeter and creamier and more delicious than anything the other chocolate factories can make!’. Mr Willy Wonka himself! The cacao bean,’ Mr Wonka continued, […]

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  • Sep 03

    Weapon of Choice: Chocolate

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture

    There have been studies that suggest that dark chocolates with a high cocoa content (like those here at Cocoa Runners) have numerous health benefits. Furthermore, chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which boost your energy. Because of this and more, chocolate was used to ‘fuel’ soldiers throughout wars in history. Early Wars Chocolate consumption […]

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  • Sep 03

    Cacao: Mesoamerican Religion and Royalty

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture

    Chocolate’s deep past takes us to Central America, and the ancient Mesoamerican cultures. There’s an exciting world to explore; sometimes gruesome, sometimes spiritual and majestic. The ancient region of Mesoamerica comprises a handful of central American countries; including northern Costa Rica, El Salvador, Belize and southern Mexico. This area was historically home to civilisations such […]

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  • Aug 24

    Valentine’s Day: More than a Box of Chocolates?

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  History & Culture, Sex

    The history of Valentine’s Day is darker than you might expect; it hasn’t always been boxes of chocolates and cutesy cards. Lupercalia The Roman festival, Lupercalia, which took place annually on the 15th of February, was bloody and sexually charged – with animal sacrifices and violent spankings standing in for the dinner dates and lingerie […]

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  • Aug 23

    History & Culture

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture

    The history of cocoa is a long and murky one. Not a lot is known about its origins, and what we do know has had to be deduced from vague hints within the historical record. Once we move into the modern era, we face complex questions of cause and effect, agency, motivations, and – of […]

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  • Mar 07

    The History of Easter Chocolate

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture

    Egg Decorating, Chocolate and Easter 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 […]

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