Friday, 6 September 2013

Unwrapping the Terry's Chocolate Apple

Advertising Image of Chocolate Apple and Orange, 1936
Terry's Product Brochure,1936, p.51
Did you know that before Terry’s Chocolate Orange, there was the Chocolate Apple? Neither did we until we delved into the Borthwick’s Terry’s archives and flicked through an old product brochure from the 1920’s.

The Terry’s ‘Dessert Chocolate Apple’ was made from 1926 before being outshone by the Chocolate Orange, which eventually led to the halt in production of the apple in 1954. Found amongst Terry’s other beautifully illustrated luxury chocolate boxes, the brochure demonstrates how the Chocolate Apple (and the Chocolate Orange) were once seen as special chocolates, perhaps only eaten on special occasions or in the homes of the ‘better off’. The name even suggests that it had a place at the dinner table as a dessert – a world away from how we eat chocolate today; in front of the TV, on the sofa, in bed, or on the way home from school.
 
Image of two decorated chocolate boxes 1934
Terry's Product Brochure, 1934, p.7
Image of a large box of Terry's chocolates with orange details 1929
Terry's Product Brochure, 1929, p.7



In our investigation of the chocolate apple we have seen how something as simple as chocolate can illuminate many different areas of our social history, from dining habits, to attitudes to certain foods. In fact, our research has led to some unexpected forays into the wider history of York - what’s the connection between an apple from the University of York campus and the Chocolate Apple? And what’s the connection between York’s Mansion House and Terry’s?
 

An apply tree on the University of York's Heslington campus
What is the connection between this tree and the Chocolate Apple?
However, one burning question remains – what on earth did the Chocolate Apple taste like?! To find out, we have organised a special one day event designed to answer this very question! As part of our Opening Up Archives programme of events we invite you to have a peek at the very recipe used to make the apple, as well taste some chocolate inspired by it, courtesy of the York Cocoa House. For a small fee you even have the option of making your very own flavoured chocolate bar!

We hope you can join us to taste the past and discover the power of archives by exploring some of the lesser known areas of York’s history.

Unwrapping the Chocolate City - Re-imagining the Chocolate Apple is a joint project between the Borthwick Institute for Archives, York Cocoa House and Mansion House and takes place on September 29th 2013 at Mansion House from 10:30am.
 
Book your place on the York Cocoa House website here.
 
This blog post was written by Francesca Taylor, National Archives Trainee.
You can read more about the National Archives Trainees' work at the Borthwick here and here.

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