Today is a day that chocolate lovers can indulge and celebrate – for today is National Chocolate Day!
The Interchange takes a closer look at one of the world’s most successful chocolatiers – based right here in Stoke Gifford; there’s also some hints on the best places to buy handmade chocolate in Bristol and a great cake recipe…
Bristol’s chocolate history
Chocolate was once a huge industry in Bristol, employing thousands of people who helped shape its legacy. In 1795 Joseph Fry and his family patented a method of grinding cocoa beans, which led to the invention of the first modern day chocolate bar by 1847.
The Fry’s fondant bar remains a best seller today, but Joseph wasn’t the only significant chocolate maker in the city. You may have heard of Elizabeth Shaw, or if not it’s likely you’ve enjoyed one of their signature chocolate mints.
To this day, the headquarters of Elizabeth Shaw are based right here in Stoke Gifford and describe themselves as ‘one of Britain’s best-loved luxury chocolate makers, proud of our rich heritage and experience.’
Elizabeth loved making chocolate treats for her family and eventually married an employee of confectioner Page & Shaw. Her mint and honeycomb crisp was a firm favourite and went on sale in her brother-in-law’s shop in 1937.
Fast forward to 1968 when the company was sold to a Bristol factory, originally opened by Edward Packer in 1881 – who happened to be a former Fry & Son’s employee. The combination of experience and foresight took the Elizabeth Shaw brand to the huge success it is today.
The original factory is now closed, but the headquarters remain here in Stoke Gifford! Read more about Elizabeth Shaw here.
If handmade chocolate is your thing, be sure to pop down to Guilberts in the centre of Bristol. They’ve been crafting the sweet stuff for more than 100 years and have a range of bespoke bars, truffles, fondants and creams to tantalise the taste buds.
Visit their website to see for yourself.
Chocolate cake recipe
We’ve found this delicious quick and easy chocolate sponge cake for you. It’s super simple, but should be a fan for chocolate lovers.
Check it out here…
If you’re in or around the Willow Brook Centre and fancy a chocolate drink, why not try out a new Frostino at Costa Coffee.
These blended iced drinks, embellished with layers of toppings for a fabulous summer treat and can be made with or without coffee. They come in Belgian chocolate and mint choc chip, as well as three other flavours. Of course, the traditional hot chocolate is always a winner!