The day we all dread but secretly love comes around once a year, marked in our calendars as the day we must show our slightly more affectionate side – Valentine’s Day isn’t just a corporate holiday it actually goes back decades, fortunately for us chocolate and the day of love go hand in hand. But have you ever wondered how giving chocolate as a sign of love came about?
Chocolate and love dates all the way back to the Mayans
The first recorded link between chocolate and romance dates all the way back to the Aztecs. Emperor Montezuma was rumoured to eat cocoa beans to fuel his romances. It was said that cocoa was the food of the gods.
Chocolate is set to be an aphrodisiac food.
Chocolate releases serotonin and another feel-good hormone called dopamine. This gets released when eating chocolate, which gives the same feeling of when someone is in love.
Royalty gave chocolate as a present to show love
European royalty would give their loved ones chocolate with amber to romance them, which then trickled down to the regular public as they took away the amber and started to gift chocolate on its own.
Women who eat chocolate have desire.
Studies have shown women who eat chocolate are said to show more desire for romance, compared to women who don’t.
Traditionally Rowntree’s would create confectionery chocolate boxes which were seen as a luxury romantic gesture.
Rowntree’s was the first confectionery company to pioneer the early chocolate selection boxes, these were seen as a luxury gift which people would save up months and months for. In our exhibition you can see some of the early chocolate selection boxes that were made.
Unwrap more of the history of chocolate by following us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. You can also visit us to learn the secrets of chocolate production and York’s iconic brands.
We all have the one relative who is renowned for having a chocolate addiction, everything Birthday and Christmas you know you’re on to a winner when you’re supplying them with a chocolate related gift. Here at the home of chocolate we are giving you the go to guide of the perfect chocolate gift ideas.
1.Personalised Bar… That’s right you can order a personalised bar that is hand made by our Chocolatiers. Come in store and speak to a member of staff or ring up the sales team and create your personalised bar from scratch. Choose the chocolate, the decoration and what you want piped in chocolate on the top.
2. Luxury fresh chocolates Our luxury fresh chocolates are a perfect gift for a chocoholic. Choose from exotic flavours or the classics for a personal selection of someone’s favourite chocolates. Delicately made in house by our Chocolatiers you are able to choose from one or two chocolates in a bag to a 24 box.
3. Masterclass/ hire of a chocolatier – For that Chocoholic that has it all give the most luxurious chocolate experience we offer. Hire a Chocolatier for a group and have your own personalised Masterclass, a one to one experience not to be forgotten.
4. Personalised KitKat Chocolatory Personalise your own KitKat, come to Yorkshire’s only KitKat Chocolatory where you have the chance to create your own break. A perfect present for a KitKat lover, pick your chocolate flavour and choose three of your favourite toppings finish the gift with a personalised message on your packaging.
5. Family ticket for the tour. Treat a chocolate loving family to our brilliant (if we do say so ourselves) tour. Indulge your sense as you taste, touch and smell chocolate as you make your own lolly, watch demonstrations by a Chocolatier and dip in to the rich heritage chocolate has in the city of York.
It’s definitely safe to say we all love Bonfire Night at York’s Chocolate Story. It’s a joyous time where we try and write our names with sparklers and get involved with the Bonfire Night festivities such as apple bobbing and building a Guy Fawkes. Our own city holds so much history for this festival and therefore we have a picked out 6 fun facts about Bonfire night for you to enjoy.
1) Bonfire Night is also known as Guy Fawkes Night, Guy Fawkes Day and Fireworks Night.
2) Bonfires are actually quite dark, in that they originated to represent burning Guy Fawkes at the stake.
3) Over 400 years ago, Guy Fawkes was part of a team of 13 Catholics brought together to carry out the Gunpowder Plot, intending to blow up King James I and his government whilst they were in the famous Houses of Parliament.
4) Fawkes was born in April 1570 and raised in York which, as you can imagine, ties the city to this festival. Fawkes attended St Peters school, which is just outside the city walls. There is also a hotel situated in York known as the Guy Fawkes Inn, where it is said that Fawkes was born. There are rumours to this very day that the hotel is still haunted by his Ghost.
5) 5th November was initially known as Gunpowder Treason Day and bonfires were lit as a celebration that the King hadn’t been killed.
6) The word for firework in Japanese is ‘hanabi’, which translates to ‘fire-flower’.
Now that we have filled you with some facts, we hope you enjoy your bonfire night plans!
“TRICK OR TREAT “– we will be shaking up our tour with a Halloween twist that involves baked bean and you either Love it or Hate it … marmite! Our Chocolatiers have been crafting away and experimenting with unique chocolate flavours to rattle your taste buds. This year you get to play along and receive a trick or treat of your own … at the end of your tour (if you dare) you will get the chance to spin the Trick or Treat wheel with our Chocolatiers – don’t blame us if the odds aren’t in your flavour.
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to hear about our latest events!
Seeking something extra?
York’s Chocolate Story Trick or Treat Trek (Kids)
Join us on our family friendly Trick or Treat Trek where you will encounter Count Fectionery and Miss Terry. Walk the streets of York, but make sure not to stray too far from the path whilst Count Fectionery uncovers terrifying tales within the city walls. What mischief will you get up to with Miss Terry? Do you have what it takes? Play along and you will receive shock-olate and sweets on hand to indulge on. Make sure to look the part (the scarier the better) as there will be a prize in store for the best dressed.
It’s no secret now that we are the only place in Yorkshire that is host to Nestlé’s KitKat Chocolatory – it’s very exciting. It’s also exciting that York is home to the KitKat (we bet you didn’t know that?) That’s right KitKat was created in York over 80 years ago, which makes York the perfect place to host the new KitKat Chocolatory.
If you don’t know what KitKat Chocolatory is well… let us tell you. KitKat Chocolatory is a luxury experience where you get the chance to create your own eight finger KitKat. The eight-finger KitKat offers different flavour combinations of toppings that you can choose to add to your KitKat. This includes shortbread pieces, mini marshmallows, honeycomb and rose petals. You will also have the option to add a personalised message to your packaging as well as choosing what flavour the chocolate is e.g. dark, milk or ruby.
So all caught up?
In light of this newest addition to York, let’s share your KitKat Chocolatory Stories so far…
We can definitely confirm these guys had the best break of their lives!
KitKat Chocolatory isn’t just a create your own KitKat, why don’t you indulge yourself in our already crafted six – finger special edition bars that include Gin and Tonic, Spring time in Japan and Billionaires Treasure.
As we know them today the KitKat came from a very humble beginning…
In 1935, Rowntree’s Marketing Manager George Harris was inspired to create a new type of product chocolate when a factory worker left a note in the company suggestion box: why not make something to eat in a “pack up”. Harris set to work, making a simple treat that appealed to everybody, was snack-sized and easily affordable. Thus, the KitKat was born.
The KitKat has gone on to be a dominating force in the world of confectionery. Globally, a mind blowing 17.6 KitKat was certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s most global brand and in 2014 was named Time Magazine’s most influential confectionery bar of all time.
This experience was for a limited time only and ended in January 2020.
Just picture it… a hot summer’s day in the beautiful city of York, not a cloud in sight. A tourist bustling, bubble wrapped city within the heart of Yorkshire (we know it’s not common, but stay with us.) Almost its own little utopia within the historic walls, that stand preserving the culture and history.
What do you do on a hot summer’s day in York? You could drink by the river? Take a picnic to the museum gardens? Or you could visit York’s Chocolate Story? We can tell your racking your brains right now thinking – but why would we come to an indoor attraction on a hot summer’s day?
Well, how about you read on to find out why we’re perfect to visit all year round…
1. We bring the summer inside… We are a great break from the sun when it gets too much. With our tour lasting for an hour and a half we have a cool (air-conned we might add) tour that is summer inspired so it will only enhance your summer’s day.
2. We have scrumptious selections of ice creams in our café. When you have taken our fully air-conned, interactive tour – grab an ice cream to take away and enjoy your day.
3. Ever rolled your own truffle? It’s not unknown, in fact you can actually do this on our last tour of the day. Want to know something even better? You get to roll your own truffles with one of our expert chocolatiers! The perfect way to spend the end of your day.
4. Have you tried a Pina Colada chocolate before? Well you can now! Our chocolatiers have crafted handmade summer flavours (some boozy, some not) Have a summer extravaganza on the tip of your tongue with mouth-watering flavours a party in the chocolate.
5. Find out what we do after hours, something that’s time consuming, intimate and you can do with your friends… A Masterclass! (what were you thinking) Find out when our Masterclasses are taking place here -> www.yorkschocolatestory.com/events/summer-masterclass/
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