Dr Kate Loveman, a senior lecturer in 17th and 18th Century English Literature at Leicester, followed up a reference in a Samuel Pepys journal and has found recipes in manuscripts that belonged to the Earl of Sandwich in 1668. The Earl’s great great grandson is famously reputed to have put his meat between split bread a century later and invented the sandwich named after him. His ancestor’s chocolate recipe is as follows:
“Prepare the chocolatti (to make a drink). Putt the vessel that hath the chocolate in it, into a jaraffa (carafe) of snow stirred together with some salt. Shake the snow together sometyme and it will putt the chocolatti into tender curdled ice. Soe eate it with spoons.”
It was not easy for ordinary people to freeze stuff at the time, so this was very much a luxury dish. Dr Loveman tells us, “It’s not chocolate ice-cream, but more like a very solid and very dark version of the iced chocolate drinks you get in coffee shops today.” Chocolate was very much regarded as a drug in the 17th Century, so users were warned that hot chocolate could cause insomnia, excess mucus or haemorrhoids, and the iced version was “unwholesome” and could damage the stomach, heart and lungs. Today, of course, we know that chocolate is a delicious way of making ourselves happy, but understand that moderation is a wise course of action.
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