Chocolate covered strawberries have become a popular romantic dessert for everything from anniversaries to Valentine's Day. Before strawberries were paired with chocolate, they were a main staple in the diet of many people thousands of years ago. Chocolate also has an extensive history of its own, making these treats a unique pair seemingly destined to come together.
The Delectable History of Strawberries
While hundreds of books could be written about the history of strawberries, one thing is known for sure - these berries date back centuries. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that many people believe that they were used by the Romans and Greeks, although there is little record of them by experts of the day.
Strawberries began to appear in literature around the 1300s, revealing that they were cultivated across Europe. Many people thought of the berry as a way to cure for common ailments.
French and English royalty soon developed a taste for the berries. By the 1500s, strawberries were becoming a common garden plant across Europe. Eventually they started appearing at banquets and evolved into the delectable fruit we know today.
The Sweet History of Chocolate
Chocolate.org reports that there are records of chocolate being used as far back as 600 A.D. by the Mayans. People originally harvested cacao trees and consumed the beans raw, believing they could give them special powers and wisdom.
When chocolate became manufactured and sold for large-scale consumption in the 1600s, the Europeans perceived it to be a delicacy that was best reserved for the upper class.
It wasn't until 1765 that chocolate was introduced to the U.S. and grew in popularity. Hundreds of years ago, chocolate was primarily used in beverages rather than eaten alone. Today, it can be found in everything from cake pops to candy.
Joining Chocolate and Strawberries in a Delicious Union
If you can't get enough of chocolate covered strawberries and crave them throughout the year, rather than just on special occasions, you can easily make your own at home.
Melt your favorite variety of chocolate in the microwave on high or in a double boiler until smooth. Hold your strawberries by the stem, give them a dunk in the gooey liquid, then lay them out on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. Refrigerate until hard, and voila! You have your very own sweet treats to enjoy until you can get your hands on some gourmet ones.