A brief history of the Valentine's Day chocolate box
Boxes of chocolates have become synonymous with Valentine’s Day. It’s a classic tradition now recognized as an iconic symbol of love. But when did our love for showing affection with boxes of chocolates begin?
Considering the long history of chocolate – which goes back as far as 450 B.C. – eating chocolate candies is a relatively new concept. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the culture of drinking chocolates became increasingly popular throughout Europe.
In England, the Cadbury family were famous for selling tea, coffee and drinking chocolates. Richard Cadbury and his brother George Cadbury took over the business in 1861, and they were on a mission to improve upon the drinking chocolate recipe.
In 1866, they developed a unique process that removed the cocoa butter from the cocoa bean, resulting in a smoother, more pleasant drinking chocolate experience.
But the Cadbury brothers were presented with another chocolate – what should they do with the unused cocoa butter that was extracted from the cocoa bean?
Back in 1861, the company developed Fancy Boxes, which is exactly what it sounds like – beautifully decorated boxes filled with chocolates.
So, using the excess cocoa butter, Cadbury made a new variety of "eating chocolates" and, in 1868, decided to sell the product in heart-shaped boxes marketed as the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day.
Cadbury's Valentine's Day boxes were an instant hit and from then on, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates became part of the holiday's custom.