Quality Street is a popular selection of individual tinned or boxed toffees, chocolates and sweets, produced by Nestlé. Quality Street was first made in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England in 1936. It was named after a play by J. M. Barrie.
In 1890 John Mackintosh and his wife opened a shop in Halifax, where they created a new kind of sweet by mixing hard toffee with runny caramel. These toffees were made from inexpensive local ingredients such as milk, sugar beets and eggs. They were so successful that in 1898 they expanded the operation to build the world’s first toffee factory. It burned down in 1909 so John bought an old carpet factory and converted it into a new facility. When John Mackintosh died his son Harold inherited the business and in 1936 he invented Quality Street.
The name was inspired by a play of the same name by J. M. Barrie. In the early 1930s only the wealthy could afford boxed chocolates made from exotic ingredients from around the world with elaborate packaging that often cost as much as the chocolates themselves. Harold Mackintosh set out to produce boxes of chocolates that could be sold at a reasonable price and would, therefore, be available to working families. His idea was to cover the different toffees with chocolate and present them in low-cost yet attractive boxes.
Rather than having each piece separated in the box, which would require more costly packaging, Mackintosh decided to have each piece individually wrapped in coloured paper and put into a decorative tin. He also introduced new technology, the world’s first twist-wrapping machine, to wrap each chocolate in a distinctive wrapper. By using a tin, instead of a cardboard box, Mackintosh ensured the chocolate aroma burst out as soon as it was opened and the different textures, colours, shapes and sizes of the sweets made opening the tin and consuming its contents a noisy, vibrant experience that the whole family could enjoy.
In the mid- to late 1930s, Britain was still feeling the effects of the economic crash and Mackintosh realised that in times of economic hardship and war, people crave nostalgia. Quality Street chocolates were, therefore, packaged in brightly coloured tins featuring two characters wearing Regency era dress, known affectionately as Miss Sweetly and Major Quality. ‘The Major’ and ‘Miss’, inspired by the play’s principal characters, appeared on all Quality Street boxes and tins until 2000. The original models for the pair were Tony and Iris Coles, the children of Sydney Coles who designed the advertising campaign that first appeared on a front page newspaper advertisement in the Daily Mail on 2 May 1936.
The brand was acquired by Nestlé when they bought Rowntree Mackintosh in 1988
Individual larger versions of the more popular chocolates are now manufactured and sold separately, as an extension to the brand, such as a bar based on the Purple One.
In Western Norway, Quality Street is called “Shetlandsgodt” or more commonly “Shetland Snoop” (snoop is Norwegian slang for sweets), because it often was brought home by fishermen visiting Shetland. In Iceland it is traditionally known as “Mackintosh”.
Quality Street gained the implied endorsement of Saddam Hussein when the Iraqi dictator was reported to have offered them to visiting British politician George Galloway in 2002. Nestlé were initially positive, but then chose to backtrack about the connection.
Text from Wikipedia
Blanc mange (/bləˈmɒnʒ/ or /bləˈmɑːndʒ/, from French blanc-manger French pronunciation: [blɑ̃mɑ̃ʒe]) is a sweet dessert commonly made with milk or cream and sugar thickened with gelatin, cornstarch or Irish moss (a source of carrageenan), and often flavoured with almonds.
It is usually set in a mould and served cold. Although traditionally white, blancmanges are frequently given alternative colours. Some similar desserts are Bavarian cream, panna cotta, annin tofu, the Turkish muhallebi, and haupia.
The historical blancmange originated some time in the Middle Ages and usually consisted of capon or chicken, milk or almond milk, rice and sugar and was considered to be an ideal food for the sick. Tavuk göğsü is a sweet contemporary Turkish pudding made with shredded chicken, similar to the medieval European dish.
Yet another grown-up sweets recipe found on chatelaine.com
These tempting truffles add an eye-catching flourish to the dessert table, and with their sweet cherry centre, they’ll disappear in no time.
A hot beverage recipe from the 17th century found on historyextra.com
In every issue of BBC History Magazine, picture editor Sam Nott brings you a recipe from the past. In this article, Sam recreates spiced hot chocolate – a chocolate treat enjoyed by kings and queens.
Sam writes: Hot chocolate has always been one of my favourite drinks but I have often wondered when the drink was first consumed in Britain.
I was surprised to find out that chocolate itself arrived in England in the 1600s, with evidence of it being drunk at the court of Charles I – before it was deemed a sinful pleasure by Oliver Cromwell, and banned.
This recipe is based on the drink served at the English court during the 17th and 18th centuries and the spices make it smell – and taste – wonderful. It’s also very simple to make. The drink is very rich – you won’t need a big portion – but since chocolate was believed to have medicinal properties well into the mid-18th century, you can see it as a relatively guilt-free treat!
An article by Mary Miley Theobald at history.org
Some historians think that chocolate drinking spread from England to its North American colonies, but it seems more likely that it came directly in ships that plied the trade routes from the West Indies to the major colonial ports of Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and Newport, Rhode Island. Whatever the route, chocolate arrived in English North America at about the same time it arrived in England. It was available as chocolate nuts, as shells, and in processed “chocolate cakes,” lumps of grated powder and sugar ready to be stirred into boiling water, mixed with whatever ingredients one preferred, and frothed with the little hand mill.
Those who bought the cacao seed had to roast and grind the chocolate themselves or, more likely, have their servants or slaves do the tedious job. Those who, like Martha Washington, purchased the cacao shells, steeped them in hot water to make a thin chocolaty drink that was easier on the stomach than oily chocolate.
According to Jim Gay, most chocolate was processed in the northern colonies, in New England, Philadelphia, and New York. It was sold in its various forms in general stores and grocers’ shops. In pre-Revolutionary Williamsburg, unsweetened chocolate went for about two shillings sixpence per pound, slightly more than a free unskilled laborer or sailor earned in a day. Obviously, few of those men drank chocolate. Prices fell, however, and by the nineteenth century, it had become cheap enough to be given to slaves.
Its perceived medicinal value made chocolate a natural product for apothecary shops. It was considered nourishing for the sick as well as an aid to digestion and was believed to promote longevity, help lung ailments, energize the body, cure hangovers, suppress coughs, and, as mentioned, stimulate the libido. For that reason, the Virginia Almanac of 1770 cautioned women against it, warning “the fair sex to be in a particular manner careful how they meddle with romances, chocolate, novels, and the like,” especially in the spring, as those were all “inflamers” and “very dangerous.”
“This was very much ignored,” Jim Gay says. “Women were the main consumers of chocolate. Children were denied chocolate because it was a stimulant.” But it was this sexy reputation that caused chocolate to become associated with love, Valentine’s Day, sinful pleasures, and decadence.
Ben Franklin recommended chocolate as a cure for smallpox in Poor Richard’s Almanac of 1761; Doctor Benjamin Rush did the same in his medical texts. Thomas Jefferson thought chocolate would overtake tea and coffee as the American beverage of choice. In a letter of November 27, 1785, to John Adams he wrote, “The superiority of chocolate, both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain.” In this he was mistaken. Chocolate drinking would soon decline in favor of chocolate eating.
By the late eighteenth century, a very few, very wealthy Americans were eating chocolate as food. Not the creamy sort of milk chocolate candy bars we know today—those would not exist until the nineteenth century—this rather gritty chocolate was shaved and cooked into puddings, pies, and tarts and served as a side dish at dinner. It was also mixed into creams and ice creams and almond-shaped candies and served at the finest tables as part of the dessert course.
North America’s first cookbook, printed in 1742 in Williamsburg by William Parks, publisher of the Virginia Gazette, contained but one chocolate recipe: “chocolate almonds.” The list of ingredients included no almonds; the word merely reflected the shape of the chocolate, which was mixed with sugar, orange flower water, and a binder. Today we might call it a chocolate drop.
Gay’s research turned up other Virginia chocolate recipes in manuscript form, sometimes written by an unknown housewife. One of these mixes sugar, chocolate, and almonds, then directs the cook to use cochineal to color them red, saffron for yellow, “Stone blew” for blue, and “the Juice of Spinage” for green. Gay calls this “the eighteenth-century ancestor of M&Ms.”
Chocolate did not really become a food until the middle of the nineteenth century. The pivotal date was 1828, when a Dutchman, Casparus Van Houten, invented a machine for manufacturing powdered low-fat cocoa. Chocolate beverages became easier and cheaper to make, leading to what some have called the democratization of chocolate.
In 1847, an English chocolate maker that had been in business almost a hundred years, J. S. Fry and Sons, developed the first molded chocolate bar. A Swiss, Henri Nestlé, figured out in 1867 how to make powdered milk by evaporation, and another Swiss, Daniel Peter, came up with the idea of blending Nestlé’s powdered milk with chocolate in 1879. The milk chocolate candy bar was on its way.
A delicious chocolate recipe found on epicurus.com
Tasty, sultry and sinfully good, Earl Grey Chocolates provide a delicious snack – a morsel of love. The tea ganache is smooth
This one is for you Ingrid ❤
Use of the name Kit Kat or Kit Cat for a type of food goes back to the 18th century, when mutton pies known as a Kit-Kat were served at meetings of the political Kit-Cat Club in London.
The origins of what is now known as the Kit Kat brand go back to 1911, when Rowntree’s, a confectionery company based in York in the United Kingdom, trademarked the terms Kit Cat and Kit Kat. Although the terms were not immediately used, the first conception of the Kit Kat appeared in the 1920s, when Rowntree launched a brand of boxed chocolates entitled Kit Cat. This continued into the 1930s, when Rowntree’s shifted focus and production onto its Black Magic and Dairy Box brands. With the promotion of alternative products the Kit Cat brand decreased and was eventually discontinued. The original four-finger bar was developed after a worker at Rowntree’s York Factory put a suggestion in a recommendation box for a snack that “a man could take to work in his pack”. The bar launched on 29 August 1935, under the title of Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp (priced at 2d), and was sold in London and throughout Southern England.
The product’s official title of Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp was renamed Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp in 1937, the same year that Kit Kat began to incorporate “Break” into its recognisable advertising strategy. The colour scheme and first flavour variation to the brand came in 1942, owing to World War II, when food shortages prompted an alteration in the recipe. The flavour of Kit Kat was changed to dark chocolate; the packaging abandoned its Chocolate Crisp title, and was adorned in blue. After the war the title was altered to Kit Kat and resumed its original milk recipe and red packaging.
Following on from its success in the United Kingdom, in the 1940s Kit Kat was exported to Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. In 1958, Donald Gilles, the executive at JWT Orland, created the iconic advertising line “Have a Break, Have a Kit Kat”. The brand further expanded in the 1970s when Rowntree created a new distribution factory in Germany to meet European demand, and established agreements to distribute the brand in the USA and Japan through the Hershey and Fujiya companies, respectively. In June 1988 Nestlé acquired Kit Kat through the purchase of Rowntree’s. This gave Nestlé global control over the brand, except in the US, and production and distribution increased with new facilities in Japan and additional manufacturing operations set up in Malaysia, India and China.
The Hershey Company has a licence to produce Kit Kat bars in the United States which dates from 1970, when Hershey executed a licensing agreement with Rowntree. Nestlé, which has a substantial presence in the US, had to honour the licensing agreement when it bought Rowntree in 1988 which allowed Hershey to retain the Kit Kat licence so long as Hershey was not sold. As Kit Kat is one of Hershey’s top five brands in the US market, the Kit Kat licence was a key factor in Hershey’s failed attempt to attract a serious buyer in 2002.
Variants in the traditional chocolate bar first appeared in 1996 when Kit Kat Orange, the first flavour variant, was introduced in the United Kingdom. Its success was followed by several varieties including mint and caramel, and in 1999 Kit Kat Chunky was launched and received favourably by international consumers. Variations on the traditional Kit Kat have continued to develop throughout the 2000s. In 2000, Nestlé acquired Fujiya’s share of the brand in Japan, and also expanded its marketplace in Japan, Russia, Turkey, and Venezuela, in addition to markets in Eastern and Central Europe. Throughout the decade Kit Kat has introduced dozens of flavours and line extensions within specific consumer markets, and celebrated its 75th anniversary on 10 October 2009.
The traditional bar has four fingers which each measure approximately 1 centimetre (0.4 in) by 9 centimetres (3.5 in). A two-finger bar was launched in the 1930s, and has remained the company’s best-selling biscuit brand ever since. The 1999 Kit Kat Chunky (known as Big Kat and Kit Kat Extra Crispy in the US) has one large finger approximately 2.5 centimetres (1 in) wide. Kit Kat bars contain varying numbers of fingers depending on the market, ranging from the half-finger sized Kit Kat Petit in Japan, to the three-fingered variants in Arabia, to the twelve-finger family-size bars in Australia and France. Kit Kat bars are sold individually and in bags, boxes and multi-packs. In Ireland, France, the UK and America Nestlé also produces a Kit Kat ice cream, and in Australia and Malaysia, Kit Kat Drumsticks.
In 2010, a new £5 million manufacturing line was opened by Nestlé in York. This will produce more than a billion Kit Kat bars each year.
Text from Wikipedia
In context: A macaroon (/mækəˈruːn/ mak-ə-roon) is a type of small circular cake, typically made from ground almonds (the original main ingredient), coconut, and/or other nuts or even potato, with sugar, egg white, and sometimes flavorings (e.g. honey, vanilla, spices), food coloring, glace cherries, jam and/or a chocolate coating. Some recipes call for sweetened condensed milk. Macaroons are often baked on edible rice paper placed on a baking tray.
Amaretti di Saronno are a usually crunchy variety from Saronno. Both are often served on special occasions such as Christmas.
In Context: The English and the Scottish CWS opened a cocoa factory in Dallow Road, Luton, in 1902. Like the British Empire it is gone now, demolished early in 1970. It is now a site of the Guardian Business Park, near the junction with Vernon Road. This poster dates from 1906 and is a contrast between an idealised view of work in West Africa and the impressive building with smoking chimney to demonstarte a hive of industry in Luton.
Nowadays the cocoa and chocolate is advertised as a Fairtrade product, the workers in West Africa have their own co-operative, but no sign of any factories in the UK, or wherever it is processed in the EU.