Chocolate, Chocolate All the While
Here’s a cute poem published in the Confectioners Journal in 1910:
“The Chocolate Kids”
Goodness! What will keep these children quiet?
Folks go crazy at the riot.
We feed them candy, cakes and pie,
The more they get the more they cry.
What can have brought from tears relief?
The reason is, in words quite brief—
The only thing to make them smile
Is chocolate, chocolate, all the while!
Is it chocolate, chocolate all the while for you, too?
Even back in the 1900s, folks had a notion of the “addictive” qualities of chocolate. Take this example: following the 1909 National Confectioners Association annual convention in Detroit, rumors were flying that the candy makers were worried about the effects of a proposed duty on the cocoa bean. They though, papers reported, that higher prices for chocolate might mean consumers would turn to other, cheaper kinds of candy.
Nonsense! countered the Confectioners Journal. The secret of chocolate is this:
Chocolates serve as their own relish. The girl who has eaten one chocolate bonbon craves another. She craves in a still more active way after consuming the second and continues with uniformly accelerated craving until she has exhausted the boxful… There is a limit to one’s appetite for all confections save chocolates.
Sounds like chocolate addiction to me!
It wasn’t just girls who kept the chocolate makers in business. But this image of women’s weakness for chocolate is still with us today. If you’ve seen those Dove Chocolate indulgence ads, you’ll get a hint of the reason. Women savoring chocolate is a pretty sensual image. We can imagine the Victorian sensibility of 1909 being titillated and fascinated by the image of a woman getting pleasure over and over by eating and eating that box of chocolates.
Are women really naturally addicted to chocolate? Personally, my weakness is candy corn.
Sources: “The Chocolate Kids,” Confectioners Journal July 1910, p. 124; “Laments,” Confectioners Journal July 1909, p. 109.