Bunnies are only part of

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 17, 2001

history of beloved chocolate


Staff Writer

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

When Easter rolls around, I can’t help but think about all those chocolate bunnies lining the stores’ shelves.

I guess this image always comes to mind since the Easter Bunny always left a big chocolate bunny in my basket, along with the jellybean-filled plastic eggs, stuffed animals and books. (The Easter Bunny that visited my brother and me firmly believed in literacy.)

My chocolate bunny was always gone before my brother’s since I’m addicted to the stuff, but I remember one year my brother became known as the "bunny boy." When I was in college, my sorority sold chocolate bunnies (our mascot was the bunny) as a fund raiser and soon my brother became our biggest customer. Whether it was because he loved my sisters or because he loved the chocolate bunnies, his name soon became synonomous with our fund raiser and I was always bringing home a bunny to my brother.

The other day, my mother and I chuckled over this story. Just talking about that sweet stuff made my mouth water.

But, since chocolate has always been a staple in my diet, I began wondering about the history of that addictive food. I’m one of those people that always wants to know more about things, so I went to a book I have that tells about the origins of everyday things.

Here’s what I discovered in those pages.

Chocolate has actually been around a long time. The beans of the cacao tree were used to make a chocolate drink hundreds of years before the Italians and French first produced the early versions of what we now eat.

In 1819, a Swiss man came up with the idea of selling chocolate in blocks and making it on a factory scale. Hooray for Francois-Louis Cailler!

An advertisement in Britain for Fry’s Chocolate Lozenges as "a pleasant and nutritious substitute for food" while traveling was the first reference to eating chocolate. And, that was in a 1826.

Sixteen years later, Cadbury’s began marketing chocolate as confectionery and in 1861 introduced

assortments, known as "fancy boxes."

But, it was in 1875 that milk chocolate was created when a Nestlé worker and a factory foreman had the idea of adding condensed milk, thus creating what so many people enjoy today.

So, more than 125 years later, we get to enjoy cookies, cakes, a variety of candy bars and, of course, chocolate bunnies.

Beth Lakey is a staff writer for The Messenger. E-mail her at beth.lakey@troymessenger or call her at 670-6317.  

Contact Us

Letters: Send your commentary to the Troy Messenger.

News tips: Have a story or tip for our staff?

Subscribe: Get the Troy Messenger delivered to your door or mailbox.