Chocolate: History's dangerous yet delicious treat
To help make the most of the last of the summery weather, a lecturer at the University has uncovered the first English recipes for iced chocolate desserts.
In the 17th century however, it seems these chilly treats were believed to be as dangerous as they were delightful and chocolate often came with advice about safe consumption.
Dr Kate Loveman, of the University’s School of English has found the first English recipes for iced chocolate treats, collected by the Earl of Sandwich in 1668 – some hundred years before his great, great grandson allegedly invented the sandwich.
Her finding have been published in a new paper, The Introduction of Chocolate into England: Retailers, Researchers, and Consumers, 1640–1730, in the Journal of Social History exploring the early history of chocolate in England.
Dr Loveman’s research reveals some of the continuities in chocolate advertising, highlighting women, pleasure and sexuality, as well as sharp differences. She reflected that in the 17th century, the fact that frequent chocolate consumption might make you ‘Fat and Corpulent’ was an attraction, something advertisers now prefer to keep quiet about.
Video and podcast of Kate Loveman discussing her research available below: