It’s National Chocolate Week. I didn’t know how much attention to give to this fact. After all, these celebrated food days / weeks / months are generally just the product of cynical PR companies.
Indeed just last month you may have missed International Bacon Day. Worse still, you probably weren’t aware of the rollercoaster of emotions that was British Watercress Week, which took place back in May…
But I’m conflicted. I love an event, and chocolate is one of York’s things. It’s up there with railways, Vikings and flooding.
So what’s the city doing to celebrate the big week? As it turns out quite a lot.
To start with, I went along to York’s Chocolate Story to find out about their festivities. I reckon this week must be equivalent to their Christmas. Then again, Christmas is probably pretty big for them too.
Nodding to York’s historic links with chocolate, the Chocolate Story is focusing on what they call a “retro revival” recreating a series of discontinued sweets from the long lost days of the 1980s.
I am not familiar with these ancient treats they speak of such as Toffos, Pyramints and the Texan Bar, but am assured by nostalgic folk they were “quite good”. Now, for one week only, I’ve got a chance to find out for myself.
They have also recreated Quality Street’s coffee cream. I remember avoiding this one in the tin, I hadn’t realised it had gone. Anyway, now it’s back, for one week only!
Terry’s Chocolate Apple
No, not a terrible typo. The Terry’s Chocolate Apple used to be far more popular than the familiar orange, but was discontinued after the Second World War due to “changing tastes” and “production issues”.
Apparently there was also a chocolate lemon, but quite who enjoyed that remains to be seen!
Researchers at the Borthwick Institute have discovered the original recipe for the chocolate apple but this time it’s not Terry’s but the Chocolate Story’s as they’ve recreated it for visitors to try.
They’ve also got the original wrappers on display for dieters to look but not touch.
Who were the Aero girls?
Continuing their chocolate-based research, the Borthwick Institute have put on display at the Mansion House, a series of Aero adverts from the 1950s featuring unknown women from York.
The exhibition attempts to find out who these women were, with researchers Kerstin Doble and Francesca Taylor from the Borthwick saying that the display is also “an appeal for more information about these mysterious women”.
- York’s Chocolate Story Retro Revival runs until Sunday October 20. See the website for more
- Who Were The Aero Girls? is at the Mansion House until Sunday, October 20. More details here
- More events on the Visit York website