Find out about the history of chocolate with our Hunts Post food columnists

Shavonne and Andy Harris,  from St Neots, are our Hunts Post Food Columnists.

Shavonne and Andy Harris, from St Neots, are our Hunts Post Food Columnists. - Credit: SHAVONNE HARRIS

After watching a documentary re-run on a prominent chocolate company last month, we got to thinking about chocolate and its many dimensions.

Last summer, we managed to take a covid-safe trip to York and visited their famous factory where we learned about the creation of chocolate and all its multifunctions. But what makes chocolate so extraordinary?

Its history stems from the cacao seeds which originated in Central America, these amazing seeds can be transformed into a wealth of different textures and flavours.

We all have our favourite chocolate bar but many were stumbled upon by accident. Beautiful accidents indeed. So beautiful that it even has a way teleporting us back to our childhoods and can turn us into secret eaters.

St Neots Food Columnist Shavonne and Andy Harris write about chocolate.

Most people love the taste of chocolate and the memories it evokes. - Credit: SHAVONNE HARRIS

Covertly sitting in our cars or behind our desks, tucking into a glorious bar of chocolate, deviously hoping that no one saw or that anyone asks us to share. Isn’t that wonderful?

Chocolate is such a versatile ingredient, it has the ability to be a flavourful additive within other foods such as beverages, a spicy chilli con-carne and even some of the finest smelling and effective skin products, as cacao is recognised to have cellular healing benefits. Did you know that?

However, while bars, drinks and skincare are certainly optional, we can’t forget that chocolate remains a popular choice for an after-dinner dessert. Certainly in our home.

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No one can resist a velvety chocolate ice cream or the ooze of a freshly opened fondant and the playfulness of the dusting on top of a generous serving of tiramisu. We recently made a thick, rich chocolate tart with a crunchy pastry base that will always remain a family preference.

Hunts Post Food Columnists Shavonne and Andy Harris write about chocolate.

Who doesn't love a bit of indulgence? - Credit: SHAVONNE HARRIS

The most surprising function of chocolate is how it can be sculpted. We have seen some talented chocolatiers shape the most intricate and oversized sculptures to be marvelled.

Shoes, animals and even dresses, all crafted out of chocolate. What a talent! Then, you have the technical masterminds behind the scenes who have worked tirelessly to create distinctive and memorable flavours that land in our hotel rooms or sit patiently on a plate while we pay the bill at our beloved restaurants or are eagerly unwrapped as we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries.

With how chocolate has diversified over the years, it really is no wonder why it remains a world favourite in many households but also a decadent luxury to symbolise sophistication.