Cacao grinder at work (photo)
The first English recipes for chilled chocolate treats, collected by the Earl of Sandwich in 1668 – several years before his grandson allegedly invented the sandwich, has been discovered by
Dr Kate Loveman from the University of Leicester.
The Earl’s recipe reads:
Prepare the chocolatti [to make a drink]… and then putt the vessell that hath the chocolatti in it, into a jaraffa [i.e. a carafe] of snow stirred together with some salt, & shaike the snow together sometyme & it will putt the chocolatti into tender curdled ice & soe eate it with spoons.
These were great luxuries for 17th-century England.
The Earl of Sandwich collected his recipes in a journal and the manuscript includes King Charles II’s prized recipe for spiced and perfumed chocolate – which Sandwich reported cost the King £200.
From the 1640s, chocolate was sold as an exotic drink that could cure illnesses and act as an aphrodisiac.
By the 1690s elite ‘chocolate houses’ were selling the drink to an aristocratic and leisured clientele. Chocolate was widely mentioned in literature, and had already acquired some of the associations with indulgence and pleasure that it has today.