From sugary-sweet eggs to luxury chocolate truffles, Easter is a time many will be exchanging treats with their loved ones.
But maybe check the expiration date on the box, just to make sure it was made in this century.
Chocolate commissioned by Queen Victoria 121 years ago has been found in its original packaging in a Boer War helmet case in Norfolk, eastern England.
British confectionery giants Cadbury, Fry and Rowntrees manufacturerd chocolate batches in 1900 to boost morale for soldiers fighting in the Second Boer War in South Africa, although it’s not certain which company made this particular tin.
The bar and helmet belonged to the 8th Baronet Henry Edward Paston-Bedingfeld, who fought in the war, said the National Trust in a press release this week.
A tin of chocolate commissioned by Queen Victoria 121 years ago has been found in eastern England. Credit: From National Trust/Twitter
Staff and members of Paston-Bedingfeld’s family found the tin of chocolate in the attic of the conservation charity’s Oxburgh Hall among the possessions of his daughter, Frances Greathead, who died last year aged 100.
“It’s fully intact but deteriorated a bit now. You can still see a brownish color, but it’s not very appetizing for Easter,” the property’s curator, Lynsey Coombs, told CNN Thursday.
“He may have wanted to keep it as a memento from the Queen or just forgot about it… Or he may have just not liked chocolate,” she added.
Coombs said Cadbury, Fry and Rowntree initially refused to brand the chocolate because they were pacifist Quakers who opposed the war in South Africa.
Eventually they caved to Queen Victoria’s request and produced 100,000 tins, many of which the soldiers preserved, she added.
The tins, inscribed with messages from the monarch who ruled between 1837 and 1901, each held half a pound of chocolate, said the National Trust.
For now, curators have wrapped the chocolate in acid-free tissue and stored it in a space with a stable temperature and humidity so that it might last another 100 years, said Coombs.