When in germany over the christmas period, we popped to cologne and visited the chocolate museum. Wow, what an incredible place. I think there are 3 or 4 floors and you can literally spent an entire day/afternoon looking at everything: from where chocolate comes from to how it’s made, how it’s manufactured, industrialised, packaged. There are rooms on its history throughout the ages, rooms on chocolate as cult status and you can even design your own chocolate bar with different topics! At the end of the exhibition there are wonderful tea rooms and a massive chocolate shop where you can indulge to your heart’s content.
There was so much to see and even more to photograph that i felt i needed to divide this into 2 posts. So, here is post no 1. Post no. 2 will follow on monday.
These are coloured copperplates of a cocoa plant, dated around 1700.
This is a detail of a vessel.
Around the late 16th century, the search for new medicines was an important factor. As a medicine, chocolate was believed to promote the digestion and therefore have health preserving properties. It was also declared a good remedy for the treatment of fever. However, its health benefits were believed to derive primarily from its high nutritional value.
In the course of the 17th century, chocolate became a popular beverage amongst the european nobility. This was mainly due to the addition of sugar, which adapted the originally hotly spiced drink to european tastes. Chocolate soon became fashionable. This was further reinforced by its status as a fortifier and aphrodisiac.
The flavour and stimulating effects of chocolate were only of secondary importance for the european nobility. Much more powerful was the symbolic significance associated with drinking chocolate. It was a means for the nobility to draw a line between themselves and commoners and to forge an exclusive social class.
Isn’t this chocolate pot just divine?
Some exhibits walls i thought to be very effective!
A reproduction of an original 1930’s chemist’s shop (Drogerieladen) selling chocolates.
Just loved these illustrations on the packaging.
A cacao tin, dated the end of the 19th century.
Some more gorgeous graphics for packaging.
Stollwerck is a german chocolate manufacturer. It was founded in 1839 and expanded internationally in europe and america, becoming the second largest producer of chocolate in the US by 1900. I’m not sure it still produces chocolate but is owned since 2011 by a belgian firm.
How romantic is that?
In the mid-19th century the first vending machines were produced in england, selling cigarettes, sweets or similar small items.
Ludwig Stollwerck, embraced the concept. He was first introduced to the vending machine while travelling the US and quickly recognised its potential as an advertising and sales medium. 5 years after the appearance of the first vending machine, around 12,000 could be found in germany.
In 1868 hugo hoffman opened a company to produce sweets. The sarotti-moor was created in 1918 for the 50 year anniversary of the company. In 1929, nestlé became the majority stockholder in the company. This traditional german brand is only known in its home market. In 1998 nestlé sold sarotti to stollwerck chocolates.
Due to political corectness the tray-carrying moor had been changed into a ‘mage’ of golden skin colour in 2004.
Well, here you have the first part. Isn’t it interesting to see the development into what we know of chocolate today? For me personally, chocolate is best when it has a cocoa content of 80% or higher and i’m forever seeking out new brands who believe in the pure taste of chocolate.
On monday, you’ll see some of the chocolate cult brands you’ll all recognise. It’s funny how marketing has taken over and we now love those brands that have introduced all sorts of concoctions which have little to do with the raw cocoa bean. Anyhow, each to their own tastes.
The books giveaway is still open till Sunday at 6pm GMT. If you want a chance to win yourselves 3 books, enter by leaving a comment.
I wish you all a happy weekend and hope snow won’t affect your plans:)