This Might Be The Oldest Box Of Chocolates In The World

Chocolate has a lengthy, and somewhat murky history. Our best guess is that chocolate has been around for about 2,000 years and in the earliest days, it was so valuable it could even be used as currency (via Smithsonian Magazine). For those curious about the exchange, the going rate was one cacao bean for a tamale, 100 beans for a nice turkey hen. It was the 17th century when chocolate took off in Europe, lauded as being nutritious, medicinal, and even having aphrodisiac properties.

The creation of the chocolate bar is attributed to Joseph Fry in 1847, and the bulk manufacture of boxed chocolates to Cadbury in 1868. As you might expect, all of these early chocolates were generally melted or eaten, leaving us with minimal physical evidence of these treats today, until the discovery of what might be the world's oldest box of chocolates dating to 1902 (via Daily Mail). These chocolates still exist inside a commemorative tin and appear as a rather blobby mess.

The story behind this historic chocolate dates back to a love of the English monarchy

The chocolates were created as a commemorative sweet for the coronation of King Edward VII, who succeeded the famous Queen Victoria. The Daily Mail describes the box as having been presented to schoolgirl Martha Greig in 1902, who resisted temptation and handed down the collectible until it reached her daughter Freida McIntosh, who later gave the box to the St Andrews Preservation Trust. The collectible tin boasts a red background with a border in the British royal blue announcing the coronation. On the center of the tin are portraits of King Edward and wife Queen Alexandra. 

Sadly for King Edward, the chocolate box far outlived his own reign as king. The monarch was immensely popular during his eight year reign before his death in 1910 and known for racing, hunting, and sports (via Britannica). This limited edition sweets box would likely have been a highly treasured possession — although we probably would have eaten the chocolate and kept the tin ourselves.