Chocolate Houses, Bars of the 17th Century

Author: Carmen | December 17, 2009 | Chocolate

After cocoa came to Europe, it took centuries until actual "chocolate" as we know it today was made out of it. For a long time, only the noble and aristocrats were able to afford to drink chocolate. In the 17th and 18th century, so-called "chocolate houses" made chocolate accessible for the well-off middle class. The expensive and fashionable beverage was served there as a drink during events and receptions.

The most famous chocolate house was "White's Chocolate House" in London. The young nobles who came here were soon known for their betting habits. In many ways, chocolate houses were like clubs and lounges nowadays: People had to pay a cover charge to get in, (chocolate) drinks were expensive and heavily taxed, and guests were entertained with card games or other. It was not uncommon for some wine or other liquor to be mixed in with the chocolate drinks, which were served by women called "Chocolate Girls". As you can imagine, chocolate houses were quite merry places, some more civilized than others.

White's Chocolate House in London
Image Source: Wikipedia

Even today, chocolate has preserved much of its exclusivity, and contributes to the merriness of people, don't you agree? :)

p.s. If you enjoy the history of chocolate, check out our post on how Columbus failed to be the first European to try chocolate


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