A novel new attraction opened in York over the weekend and is expected to be a hit with chocolate lovers over the Easter holidays. The official opening featured a three-foot high Easter egg and a former confectionary worker, who took a ‘molinillo’ (chocolate whisk) to the handmade egg before declaring ‘CHOCOLATE’ open.
Treats then spilled from the egg and were shared with delighted onlookers, who were then able to go on and undertake a fascinating journey through the history of confectionary making in York.
The giant egg used in the opening was created by chocolatier Andrew, who used around 22lbs of chocolate in order to create the opening treat, according to Juliana Delaney, chief executive of Chocolate.
The team at Chocolate have made thousands of chocolates in the run up to the grand opening, but the attraction wanted something extra special for the day and so came up with the idea of a chocolate egg-shaped piñata.
“The piñata tradition is thought to have originated with the Aztecs and Mayans which is also where our chocolate story starts, ” Juliana explained.
“The Aztec tradition was very much about ensuring prosperity for the year ahead, so, in many ways it was the perfect way to launch CHOCOLATE – York’s Sweet Story and to celebrate an industry that has contributed so much to the city and the UK’s cultural love of chocolate and confectionery.”
A tour of Chocolate sees expert confectioners guiding guests through the history of chocolate from the Aztecs and Mayans to the present day. York is credited with being the birthplace of chocolate and sweet-making and the industry is one that continues to thrive in the city today. Big name brands that begun life in York include: Polo, Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles and Fruit Gums; the city’s roots in chocolate making also led to the development of specialist skills including using sugar and flavouring to make boiled sweets.
The famous KIT KAT biscuit bar also started out life in York as Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp and has since gone on to become one of the leading bars in the world, with more than 17.8 billion fingers sold annually.
Other features of the attraction include the exhibition of ‘priceless’ objects, such as the cocoa tin that was discovered next to Captain Scott’s frozen body following his expedition to Antarctica.
For more information please visit www.yorkssweetstory.com