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Researcher reveals 350-year-old recipe for frozen chocolate treat

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You got to love that food-loving Sandwich family.

The 4th Earl of Sandwich famously created that comfort-food staple –the sandwich.

Now, a researcher in the U.K. has just revealed that his great, great grandfather–the 2nd Earl of Sandwich – was responsible for England’s first frozen chocolate treat, introduced some 350 years ago.

The Daily Mail reports that Dr. Kate Loveman, from the University of Leicester, published a new paper, called The Introduction of Chocolate into England in the Journal of Social History that details Sandwich’s recipes and tips for making the rare delicacy.  

Apparently, it was was very different from the sweet treat of today.

Here’s a taste of the Earl's own recipe: "Prepare the chocolatti [to make a drink]… and Then Putt the vessell that hath the Chocolatti in it, into a Jaraffa [i.e. a carafe] of snow stirred together with some salt, & shaike the snow together sometyme & it will putt the Chocolatti into tender Curdled Ice & soe eate it with spoons."

In other words, according to Loveman, it was made by shaking a salty chocolate liquid inside a container surrounded by snow.  The result was less like the rich ice cream of today, but more like a frozen, icy chocolate drink.

In the 17th century, freezing food required cutting-edge technology, and these ices were seen as luxuries, according to Loveman.  And  as with today, eating chocolate came with its share of health concerns.

“One physician cautioned that the ingredients in hot chocolate could cause insomnia, excess mucus, or hemorrhoids. People worried that iced chocolate in particular was 'unwholesome' and could damage the stomach, heart, and lungs,” according to Loveman.

In her research, she found other creative recipes for chocolate  --seven recipes altogether -- including one calling for enhancing chocolate with ingredients including whale vomit, known as ambergris.

It’s believed that the Earl of Sandwich wasn’t experimenting with chocolate because of taste alone.  The research reveals that he may have been part of a long -term interest in bringing chocolate to England commercially.