With undoubtedly thousands of candy shops, dessert shops and chocolate stores in NYC, including four ROYCE’ Chocolate boutiques, one has to wonder when exactly did the chocolate craze start in the Big Apple?
While the first appearance of solid chocolate in the United States came about in the 19th century, it’s clear that people were importing and processing cocoa in NYC as far back as the 1700s. It was exclusively consumed in the form of a beverage, purported to have health benefits ranging from aiding digestion to calming overstimulated individuals. Because it could be transported in large quantities without spoiling, soldiers in the Revolutionary War would often enjoy a chocolate beverage.
In 1879, a Swiss inventor by the name of Rodolphe Lindt created the first machine used to finely process chocolate so that it could be turned into the smooth, melt-in-your-mouth confection we enjoy today. Since then, the chocolate industry has boomed, and now you can find the sweet stuff at any corner store in the US.
As a culinary hub of the country, it’s only natural that New York City would be home to some of the largest and most renowned chocolate makers and shops in the world.
NYC’s first confectionery chocolate manufacturers popped up in the early 1800s, with a surge of growth throughout that century. While all of the original manufacturers were small, independent businesses, larger and wider-reaching chocolate companies soon emerged, buying out these small, independent businesses.
Today, this trend is reversing as we see a resurgence of interest in artisan, luxury chocolates. Now even the world’s biggest chocolate companies have started trying to produce their own luxury lines of chocolate! New York City has the pleasure of being the home to dozens of independent chocolatiers and the hub of chocolate innovation. If something new is happening in the world of chocolate, it’s happening in NYC!