Monday, May 25, 2009

Do you like chocolate?

Today the French postal administration, La Poste, has issued a set of ten stamps dedicated to chocolate. The full set is in issued in the form of a souvenir sheet, looking like a chocolate bar. To strengthen the effect the stamps are scented and smell like chocolate (but I don’t think that the gum as the taste of chocolate ;-) !).

The stamps illustrate the origin of chocolate, the introduction of chocolate in France and its preparation. The set celebrates the 400th anniversary of the introduction of chocolate in France, which happened in 1609 in Bayonne, as pictured on the top right corner stamp.
Chocolate finds its origins in South and Central America. Mentions about chocolate can be found in documents dating from 1100 BC already. Cocoa beans were used as money and the drink that could be produced using them was used for medical and ritual purposes.
Chocolate was unknown in European countries until the 16th century. In France it was served during the wedding between Anne of Austria (daughter of Philippe III, the king of Spain) with Louis XIII, king of France, in 1615 (they are pictured on the bottom left corner stamp). But chocolate becomes even more famous during Louis XIV’s reign, when habit is taken to drink chocolate at Versailles castle.

In our modern days we know three types of chocolate:
- Dark chocolate, the real one, the one that I prefer. It must contain a minimum of 35% of cocoa
- Milk chocolate that is obtained by adding milk. This one contains usually 25% of cocoa
- White chocolate, which is a preparation based on cocoa butter mixed with sugar, milk and aroma

A lot of things are said about chocolate and its regular consumption. Eating chocolate regularly is good for the health, but not too much, otherwise effects can be negative. Some legends say that chocolate could be aphrodisiac, or even that one could become addict to chocolate! But this is not really proven.

This is not the first time that stamps are issued looking like pieces of chocolate. It was already done by Swiss post in 2001. Here is a picture of the souvenir sheet issued at this time, which has the same spirit that the French one.


Jeevan Jyoti said...

Its really a mouthwatering post! very tempting !

Mansoor.B said...

Hi Eric,
Mansoor here, this time I am here to ask for help, but not regarding philately but for blog setting, I have asked your help because we are using almost the same template.
I have been trying to decrease the font of the blog list since many days (blogs I my blog) but no success can you guide me in this.

Thanks in advance.
(ps do not publish this comment)