Saturday, 31 March 2018
SO, WHO'S A CHOCOHOLIC? LINDA MITCHELMORE
So, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, it is Easter and I give you .... chocolate! Yes, I know it's a Christian festival but ask any primary school child (and possibly more than a few senior ones) what they associate with Easter and they will say, 'Easter eggs!' - preferably chocolate ones. The history of chocolate begins in Mesoamerica. Fermented beverages made from chocolate date back to 350 BC. The Aztecs believed that cocoa (or cacao as they have it) seeds were the gift of Quetzaloatl, the god of wisdom, and the seeds once had so much value that they were used as a form of currency. So, back to Easter eggs and their symbolism. The egg is an ancient symbol of new life, associated with pagan festivals celebrating Spring. From a Christian perspective they represent Jesus' emergence from the tomb, and resurrection. In Britain, the first chocolate bar was made by Joseph Fry in 1847. Then along came John Cadbury, jumping on the bandwagon, who further developed the chocolate bar in 1849. Both, of course, are trade names we know and love still. Now this is a writing blog so in the interests of research I decided to see how chocolate has been portrayed in literature. So, I Googled 'Chocolate/book titles'. Oh, my eye! I clicked on 'images' and there were screens and screens and screens of book covers ... hundreds if not thousands. The very popular and successful (and thoroughly good egg) Carole Matthews has given us THE CHOCOLATE LOVERS' CLUB. I mean, who wouldn't want to be part of one of those?