Why Chocolate Makes a Great Holiday Gift

holiday chocolate gifts

It’s late afternoon on Thanksgiving Day. Rather than relaxing at home, you and some of your family members have packed into the car and headed to your nearest big box store.

When the doors open at 6 p.m., you and a few hundred other people will file inside in hopes of getting an amazing deal on a new TV or video game system.

And as you trudge through the store on your way to the checkout line, you ask yourself “Why do we do this?”

Why indeed? We tend to advocate giving boxed chocolates at gifts and avoiding the Black Friday rush altogether. But then we started to wonder: “Why do people give gifts around this time of year?” and decided to do some research.

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Why Candy is Such a Big Part of Halloween

boxed chocolates

Halloween is a big holiday, one that we’re willing to spend billions of dollars each year to celebrate.

It’s also old holiday, dating back thousands of years to the Celts, people who lived in what is now Ireland and the UK. Many of the things were now associate with Halloween have their roots in Celtic traditions. For example:

  • The Celts celebrated their new year and the end of harvest on November 1. They believed that on the night before the new year, ghosts would return to earth. To celebrate the event, they lit large bonfires and dressed in costumes.
  • When the Romans conquered the Celts, they merged some of their festivals, including a day to honor the fruit goddess Pomona. Her symbol is an apple, which could be where we get the practice of bobbing for apples.
  • The jack-o-lantern comes from another Irish legend, the story of “Stingy Jack,” a man forced to wander the earth, using a piece of coal inside a hollowed out turnip to light his way. (When Irish immigrants came to America, they found that pumpkins made for better jack-o-lanterns.)

You might have noticed that in all of this history, we haven’t mentioned candy or trick-or-treating. That’s because as old as Halloween is, trick-or-treating as we recognize it today is a relatively new phenomenon, and one that didn’t always include candy.

In fact, there was a time when Americans celebrated a candy-related holiday that had nothing to do with Halloween at all.

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Stutz Turns 80!

It was 1938.

MGM studios began shooting The Wizard of Oz. DuPont unveiled the first product that used nylon. Natalie Wood, Jon Voight and Etta James were born.

And in Pennsylvania, a little-family owned candy business moved out of their garage and opened their first store. That candy business was us. This year, we’re marking 80 years of making quality candy, chocolates and gifts.

Stutz is beyond proud to have reached this milestone and beyond grateful to the generations of customers who have enjoyed our chocolates, treats, and sweets, turning a small home business to a recognized candy brand with three robust stores.

But how did we get here?

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The Evolution of Chocolate

boxed chocolates

We may never know who discovered cocoa in the Amazon 4,000 years ago, but we owe them a debt.

Without that person, we might not be here writing this post. The Stutz company might have made shoes or sold insurance.

But how did we get from the cocoa prized by the Aztecs and Mayans to the boxed chocolates we all enjoy today? It’s the start of the school year, so here’s a history lesson on the evolution of chocolate.

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How Salt Water Taffy Got Its Name

best salt water taffy

Summer is in full swing, and countless people are heading to the Jersey shore, where they’ll seek out the best salt water taffy the boardwalks have to offer.

It got us thinking again about the history of this classic seaside treat, and its unique history. Read on to find out how salt water taffy got its name.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Chocolate

interesting facts about chocolate

As we’ve written before, we find chocolate fascinating.

That’s probably good, given what we do for a living. But it’s true. Our favorite food has a long history and a remarkable story. Here are some interesting facts about chocolate that you might not know.

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5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Send Candy This Holiday Season

gt-1It’s usually pretty easy to shop for the people in our lives. We know what they like and dislike, and when all else fails, there’s the Amazon wish list.

But when you run a business, holiday shopping can be somewhat trickier. Are you struggling with what to put in your corporate gift baskets, Bucks County business owners? Why not go with candy and handmade chocolate from Stutz?

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Why Salty and Sweet Are a Perfect Pair

sea salt caramels in chocolate

Salt and sweet are an amazing pairing.

That’s apparent to anyone who’s ever enjoyed a box of chocolate covered pretzels or secretly – or not so secretly – dunked their French fries into a milkshake.

And maybe after you were done that pretzel or that ice-cream-coated fry, you asked yourself the eternal question of the satisfied diner:

“Why does this taste so good?”

As a long-time supplier of candy in Bucks County, it’s a question that interests us, so we did some digging. Here’s what science tells us.

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter: A Classic Combo

Stutz Peanut Butter Cups

Remember those peanut butter cup ads from the 1980s?

Two people walking down the street, one munching a chocolate bar, the other – improbably – just eating peanut butter straight from the jar.

They bump into each other and then:

“Hey! Your peanut butter’s in my chocolate!”

“Your chocolate is in my peanut butter.”

Then they taste this new combination – one apparently unheard of in the universe of this commercial – and learn something we’ve known for years here at our chocolate shop in Bucks County: When peanut butter and chocolate come together, it’s glorious.

So glorious that Reese’s peanut butter egg is the largest-selling Easter candy in America, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the $1.2 billion in Easter candy sold each year.

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