Column: A slip into icy water and a brief history of chocolate

Column: A slip into icy water and a brief history of chocolate

Shuswap Outdoors by Hank Shelley

Poor ol’ Jasper, a trapper for 30 seasons, he was in dire straights.

He’d fallen through the ice while checking a beaver set. Luckily, he had a pole in hand while bringing up the trap. Wet and very cold, he started his snow machine. Soon he was at the cabin and, after getting a roaring fire started in the big heater, and into warm clothes, he put on the kettle for a mug of hot chocolate. Of course, like any old timer he added a dash of rye.

Being a week before Christmas, Lorne, a neighbor, and his wife Leslie stopped by to drop off a present or two, including a box of chocolates. Chocolate ya say? The variety and selection of many chocolate lovers couldn’t be better today in all the variety stores and big box outlets, but where did it all begin?

Chocolate has been around for thousands of years, starting in the Amazon and Orinoco rain forests. Then the cocoa beans were cultured through history from the Aztecs to Spain and Portugal, then to Britain.

Read more: Wonka’s chocolate factory in production at Salmon Arm Secondary

Read more: Foodie Friday: Egg-ceptional chocolate from Okanagan chocolatier

The first chocolate/coffee houses appeared in 1657. The first chocolate mill in the U.S. was built in 1765 by John Hanan, who imported cocoa beans from the West Indies. It was done with the help of Dr. James Baker. From that partnership came Baker’s Chocolate.

The first chocolate bar was produced in 1847 by Fry’s of Bristol. In 1876, Daniel Peter, of Vevey, Switzerland experimented in making milk chocolate for drinking. Then Daniel and Henri Nestle, a pharmacist, formed the Nestle Co.

Jean Neuhaus, a Swiss pharmacist who invented praline chocolates in 1912, also created the ballotin, a small cardboard box designed to hold an assortment of chocolates, still popular today!

It seems there may be a shortage of coffee in the near future, but let’s hope chocolate will be around for a long time to come.

Jasper always carried a couple chocolate bars in his pack on the trail. He also had chocolates at hand when the neighbor kids snowmobiled over about Christmas time.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This conceptual rendering shows 60 units of student housing at the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College expected to be constructed in 2022. (Okanagan College image)
Student housing to be built on Okanagan College Salmon Arm campus

Province announces 60 beds to help ease housing shortage in community

The District of Sicamous is being asked to pull a resolution from the Eagle Valley Snowmobile Club to keep loggers off managed sledding trails in the winter. (Jim Elliot-Eagle Valley News)
Sicamous snowmobile club pulls request to keep loggers off sled trails in winter

Resolution doesn’t get backing of BC Snowmobile Federation

The SASCU Recreation Centre will serve as a COVID-19 mass immunization clinic starting on March 15, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm rec centre to serve as COVID-19 vaccination hub

Appointments being booked for seniors ages 90 and over, Indigenous persons 65 and over

Carson Meikle prepares a hot beverage while his mother, Jenna Meikle, is busy in the background at The Night Cafe, located at 146 Lakeshore Drive. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Artistic Salmon Arm entrepreneurs branch into culinary arts with The Night Café

Adam and Jenna Meikle grateful for ongoing community support

The current B.C. Men’s curling champions, Rick Sawatsky (Vernon and now living and working in Kelowna, from left), Andrew Nerpin (Kelowna), Jim Cotter (Vernon) and Steve Laycock (Saskatoon), have yet to find the win column at the 2021 Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary. (Black Press - file photo)
B.C. looking for Brier victory

Team B.C. falls to 0-2 Sunday, March 7, with 10-7 loss to Wild Card 1 entry from Manitoba

Five Kelowna writers are featured in an anthology that launched in time for International Women's Day. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
International Women’s Day: Book exploring fears features Kelowna writers

The book has launched in time for International Women’s Day

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice, and provides Kelowna Capital News with weekly stories from the world of local, national and international law. (Contributed)
Kootnekoff: Royal Dismissal

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

(File photo)
RCMP seek witnesses after 2 different reports of man chasing children in Kelowna

Both incidents occured around Dougall Road in Rutland

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Noah Vaten(left) having a cigarette out front of the Kelowna Law Courts on a brief break during his manslaughter trial on March 8, 2021. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Accused Kelowna killer ‘blacked out’ on cocaine, kicked cop shop window looking for help

Video of Noah Vaten’s interrogation shown during manslaughter trial details night of Canada Day killing in the accused’s own words

Most Read