It’s hard to compete with Halloween when it comes to candy, but every year, Easter gives October 31 a run for its money.
In 2018, we as a nation bought more than $2 billion worth of marshmallow chicks, jelly beans and chocolate eggs and bunnies. There’s no reason to think Americans won’t repeat that pattern this year. (At least we in the Bucks County chocolate molds world hope they will.)
But how did this happen? How is it that Easter – which began as a religious celebration of new life and rebirth – become a reliable source of revenue for candy makers?
It’s time for one of our candy-related history lessons. Let’s look at the connection between Easter and Easter candy.
Continue Reading Why Do We Give Candy for Easter?
This Valentine’s Day, people will give their sweethearts countless sweet gifts, including milk and
1800s New Orleans
dark chocolate. Montgomery County is filled with people searching for just the right gift.
And maybe during their search, they stop and ask themselves “Why do we celebrate this day? And who was Valentine, anyway?”
Some people have come to deride Valentine’s Day as a “Hallmark holiday,” but it’s actually a tradition that goes back more than 1,500 years.
This is the story of Valentine’s Day.
Continue Reading Who Was St. Valentine?
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.
Continue Reading Why Candy is Such a Big Part of Halloween
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.
Continue Reading The Evolution of 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.
Continue Reading 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Chocolate
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.
Continue Reading Chocolate & Peanut Butter: A Classic Combo