Chocolate. We love it at Mac+Wood and Easter is one of the best times of the year to indulge.
Tradition dictates that we share chocolate at Easter, especially chocolate shaped like eggs, bells, rabbits, chicken, etc…
But do you know why?
In the Middle Ages, it was forbidden to eat eggs during Lent. But the chicken did not stop laying during the 40 days of fasting. The population then started decorating the eggs, and offering them to those around them.
Later, in the eighteenth century, eggs were pierced from each side to empty and then fill them with chocolate, and we always offered our surroundings. In 1830 with the invention of moulds, we no longer needed to break eggs to fill the chocolate in it. Moulds were created in the shape of eggs.
But why the bell or the rabbit ?
In France, Italy and Belgium tradition prohibits ringing church bells between Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday, as a sign of mourning.
The children are told that the bells were going to be blessed by the Pope in Rome and that on their way back, they will leave the famous chocolate eggs in the gardens. In Germany it is a rabbit, in the United States it is a hare, and we can also find cuckoos or other signs.
Where does chocolate come from?
Chocolate was discovered in the sixteenth century, but was only imported into Europe in 1528 by Hernan Cortes, the Spanish conquistador.
The first chocolate factory opened in London in 1657. The doctor Hans Sloane developed a milk chocolate drink used by apothecaries at first, but the recipe will then be sold to the Cadbury brothers.
Chocolate comes from Central America and South America. It was brought to Europe by the conquistadors who owned large wooden boats where cocoa beans were stored in large wooden barrels.
The legend tells that in 1494, Christopher Columbus, threw overboard all the cocoa beans, he received from the Amerindians, thinking it was goat dung.
Wherever you are eating your chocolate this year Mac+Wood wish you a Happy Easter.