This mini-episode is just a little taster, chocolate will get a FULL ON episode in the future, here we are just focusing on Christmas chocolates such as chocolate coins, chocolate tins and trays. From its roots in South and Central America cacao has created joy and good tidings everywhere it has gone and we love to gift it, share it and eat it at Christmas.
yougov.uk did a really snazzy poll this year to find out which chocolates were the favourites from the Roses, Quality Street, Celebrations and Heroes Christmas tubs. Comments unanimously denounced the size and quality of the sweets, the plastic tub which has replaced the tins, the moment that Cadbury’s succumbed to Kraft, the fallen sweets of yesteryear which have been retired and my favourite comment from 1984again - “Anyone who likes chocolate would not eat any of this stuff. It's not chocolate anymore.”
Milk chocolate was invented in 1876.
Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao plant native to Central and South America and was vital to the Maya and Aztec who used a raw bitter cacao drink ceremoniously in wedding, battle and burial rituals. It was not consumed by all but reserved by the elite.
From the cacao tree we get the seeds or nuts which result in raw cacao power when the cocoa beans are un-roasted and cold-pressed. Cocoa powder has been roasted under high heat.
Raw cacao powder is full of antioxidants,contains protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, and sulfur. high in valuable enzymes, can reduce blood pressure and chances of cardiovascular disease, can raise serotonin levels.
Spanish Explorer Cortez brought back a recipe and the necessary equipment and had experimented with adding heat to the mixture to make it more palatable.
Cacao was not an immediate success when it was introduced to Spain in the early 16th century… but once sugar was added to cocoa powder and served warm, it really took off and its benefits and its status as a drink of the wealthy and specifically a drink of Spain.
Eventually warm cocoa spread to France and the rest of Europe and took over as a predecessor to tea and coffee-houses with wealthy men enjoying the custom of drinking hot cocoa at specific cafe-like houses where thy would discuss politics and current events.
The industrial revolution improved grinding process and introduced additives which brought down the cost of cocoa and widened the audience of those who would enjoy it.
In 1847 the world saw it’s first chocolate bar as chocolate went from being a drink to an edible food.
Chocolate shaped like coins, wrapped in gold foil given to children and put in stockings at Christmas and given to children during Chanukah. This tradition also has links to the tradition of St Nicholas gifting gold to the poor as told in the Twelve Foods of Christmas orange episode.
Chocolate manufacturers soon found an opportunity in Christmas chocolate selections that they could sell high price offerings that were popular amongst families who they would provide with an array of chocolates.
A few years back I decided to bundle all my interests together and rebrand from Smy Chutney to Smy Goodness so that all my preserves, crafts, products and workshops could live together in one place. My own podcast seemed a suitable place to uncover, understand and enjoy things related to food, art, history and design. Please do share your stories, knowledge, questions and suggestions. In the Smy Goodness.com podcast section you will find the podcasts and all the items that we are discussing and will have ongoing discussions about each week.
You can also follow Smy Goodness on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. I'd like to thank Ashley Palmer for use of his Roland R-09 and Matteo Borea for creating the music. Thank you for listening.
- Mar 28, 2019 Ep28 - Mastic, Mastiha, Mummies and Massage with Aristea Zougri of Althea Massage Therapy and Yoga Mar 28, 2019
- Mar 7, 2019 Ep27 - Feed A Lady Marmalade - Voulez-vous écouter avec moi ce soir Mar 7, 2019
- Nov 29, 2018 Ep26 - Octopus, Polpo, Pulpo, Tako: Takoyaki - My Delicious Dilemma Nov 29, 2018
- Oct 15, 2018 Ep25 - Gooseberries and Gooseberry Gumbo at Jimmy's Festival on Jimmy's Farm Oct 15, 2018
- Jun 26, 2018 Ep24 - Fiori di Zucca with Orso Tosco, author of Aspettando I Naufraghi Jun 26, 2018
- May 23, 2018 Ep23 - A Rhubarb of a Pickle of a Jam May 23, 2018
- Dec 31, 2017 Ep22 - From Christmas to New Year's Eve - Champagne, Prosecco and Cava Dec 31, 2017
- Dec 30, 2017 Ep21 - Christmas Chocolates - Twelve Foods of Christmas Dec 30, 2017
- Dec 29, 2017 Ep20 - Gin & Sloe Gin - 12 Foods of Christmas Dec 29, 2017
- Dec 24, 2017 Ep19 - Christmas Chutney - Twelve Foods of Christmas Dec 24, 2017
- Dec 20, 2017 Ep18 - Cheese - Twelve Foods of Christmas Dec 20, 2017
- Dec 17, 2017 Ep17 - Oranges - Twelve Foods of Christmas Dec 17, 2017
- Dec 15, 2017 Ep16 - Mulled Wine - Twelve Foods of Christmas Dec 15, 2017
- Dec 14, 2017 Ep15 - Christmas Goose - Twelve Foods of Christmas Dec 14, 2017
- Dec 13, 2017 Ep14 - Cinnamon - 12 Foods of Christmas Dec 13, 2017
- Dec 12, 2017 Ep13 - Cranberry Sauce - Twelve Foods of Christmas Dec 12, 2017
- Dec 10, 2017 Ep12 - Brussel Sprouts - Twelve Foods of Christmas Dec 10, 2017
- Dec 7, 2017 Ep11 - Mincemeat - Twelve Foods of Christmas by Smy Goodness Podcast Dec 7, 2017
- Nov 23, 2017 Ep10 - Plates and Platters with Tim Parker of You'll Soon Know on NTS Nov 23, 2017
- Oct 26, 2017 Ep9 - Anyone Sycophancy a Fig? Oct 26, 2017
- Sep 19, 2017 Ep8 - Dumplings with Peiran Gong and Tongtong Ren of Chinese Laundry Room Sep 19, 2017
- Aug 22, 2017 Ep7 - Bunches of Grapes Aug 22, 2017
- Aug 3, 2017 Ep6 - Ice Cream w/Tara Esperanza of T.O.I.C. - Tara's Organic Ice Cream Aug 3, 2017
- May 2, 2017 Ep5 - Pancakes & Creativity w/Aimee Furnival of Another Studio May 2, 2017
- Apr 18, 2017 Ep4 - Canapés w/Diana Pinkett of Vegan Peasant Catering Apr 18, 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017