For many, the holiday season means celebrating family traditions. Did you know that quite a few holiday traditions around the world involve chocolate? From chocolate logs to chocolate coins, cocoa confections have been making the winter holiday season sweeter for centuries. We explore some of the more unique traditions below and encourage you to start some new chocolate-y traditions of your own with Delysia’s special holiday treats.
Pass a bakery this time of year and you might spot a yule log, or “bûche de Noël,” on display. This traditionally French or Belgian treat is made of chocolate sponge cake and sweet cream, rolled up to look like a bark-covered log. Why a log? Well, back in the Iron Age of Europe (that’s before the medieval era), many Europeans would celebrate the winter solstice by lighting a giant log on fire – the smoke was thought to cleanse the air of the previous year’s events. Over the years, hearths got smaller, and so burning a giant log became impractical. But smaller hearths were perfect for baking, so Europeans began baking edible yule logs instead. The proximity of the winter solstice to Christmas day meant that the chocolate yule log tradition soon became associated with the holiday season.
Have you ever received chocolate coins for Christmas? Brightly wrapped chocolate coins are often given to children during Christmastime to represent the kindness of old Saint Nicholas. It’s no surprise that Old Saint Nick had a soft spot for kids, and legend has it he’d throw sacks of coins down the chimneys of poor families with children.
Christmas isn’t the only winter holiday with chocolate-y traditions. During Hanukkah, Jewish children are often gifted chocolate “gelt,” or money. The chocolate coin custom is symbolic of the Maccabees’, leaders of the Jewish rebel army, victory over the ancient Greeks; to celebrate the victory and their newfound freedom, the Jewish people minted new national coins. Confectioners started making chocolate coins in the 1920s, and Hanukkah has been a little sweeter ever since!
Delysia is proud to carry on the tradition of chocolate during the holidays with our very special seasonal sweet treats. Cozy up to a roaring winter fire with a mug of our hot chocolate in hand, or stuff your advent calendar with our molded chocolate Christmas trees. Indulge in the spices of the season with our Winter Truffle Collection, featuring eggnog, mint, and gingerbread flavors. Whatever new chocolate-y tradition you decide to start, we’d love to help you celebrate this magical time of year!