From seasonal selection boxes to bulging tins of Quality Street, Katharine Wootton takes a sugarcoated journey through the sweet history of our favourite festive chocolates…
Despite stuffing ourselves with a full turkey dinner and Christmas pud, it still seems wrong if Christmas day isn’t rounded off with a generous handful or two of chocolates. From the selection boxes in our stockings to the mandatory tin of choccies we have to have around the house ‘for guests’, chocolates have become a staple part of Christmas.
So as we head into the treat-munching season once more, we thought we’d look back to discover where Christmas chocolates first came from and how they’ve changed over the years. To help us, we spoke to chocolate guru Alex Hutchinson, who is both an archivist for one of the biggest chocolate companies in the world and author of a new festive read, The Quality Street Girls (written under the pseudonym Penny Thorpe), all about life in a chocolate factory at Christmas.
■ The Quality Street Girls by Penny Thorpe is out now, rrp £12.99, published by Harper Collins
Chocolates, often handmade and intricately decorated, were once the preserve of the rich