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Chocolate and Spices or Spice Drops® Even!

It may seem as though adding spices and flavours to chocolate is a new trend, but the practice goes back thousands of years.

The Mayans and Aztecs

Chocolate was a prized luxury item in Mayan and Aztec cultures, In fact, Cacao beans were even used as a commodity valued as highly as gold.The Aztecs would make a bitter drink made from Cacao beans which would often be mixed with spices to improve the flavour. They believed that the drink gave them strength and had aphrodisiac properties - and they weren’t wrong! Chocolate is known to cause the brain to release endorphins into the body giving a feeling of happiness and wellbeing.

Chocolate reaches Europe

When Chocolate reached Europe in the 1600s, sugar was added to improve the taste. Marie Antoinette is said to have arrived in France with her own personal chocolate maker who would mix chocolate with spices believed to have medicinal benefits, including orange blossom which would calm the nerves. Sugar and vanilla would then become popular additions to sweeten the taste. In England, Chocolate Houses became as popular as coffee houses, even before tea became an English favourite.

From drink to bar

Chocolate was enjoyed as a drink for many years before becoming the bars and bite sized treats we know now. It went through some big changes during the 19th Century as manufacturers began to sell chocolate as a bar, and the Swiss first added milk to their chocolate mixture. Spices were used less as chocolates became sweeter, but peppermint and orange were still popular flavours.

Spice for variety

We seem to always be seeking more variety in our chocolates, and adding spice to chocolate (whether it’s a drink, a bar or luxury handmade sweet treats) has become popular once again. Peppermint is still a favourite, and chilli is often added to bars and brownies, but how about trying some of these delicious Spice Drops flavours in your chocolates:

  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Coriander Seed
  • Ginger
  • Coffee
  • Fennel Seed (very similar to star anise)
  • Vanilla
  • Mint
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Rose

Spice Drops are perfect for making chocolate special, giving an intense flavour from just a few drops. Why not try our recipe of home made chocolate truffles using Spice Drops®.


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