120 year old CHOCOLATE!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

The irrepressible and indomitable Travelling Gourmet is flabbergasted by the…

MEMORABLE discovery of very OLD chocolate by the National Library of Australia. It is old, very old…120 years old to be exact!

Conservators at the NLA found the sweet treats from the personal collection of the famous Australian poet Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson. Banjo Paterson wrote ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and ‘The Man from Snowy River’. The precious tin of chocolates was found among the poet’s collection of diaries, newspaper clippings and poetry.

The chocolate bar was found in a souvenir chocolate tin (pictured) that was provided to soldiers by Queen Victoria during the Boer War

The chocolate was found in a souvenir chocolate tin that was given to soldiers by Queen Victoria during the Boer War. Six bars of Cadbury’s chocolate in their original wrapping were found still in very good condition.

According to conservator Jennifer Todd, ”There was quite an interesting smell when they were unwrapped, an old tin of chocolates, belonging to Banjo, with the chocolates still wrapped in the box.” AMAZING! The chocolate bar still had the old packaging made of straw and the silver foil wrapping still around the chocolate.

The 120 year old chocolate (pictured) was discovered in the Banjo Paterson's personal collection of papers by the National Library of Australia

HM Queen Victoria personally commissioned the tins of chocolate to boost the morale of the Boer War troops during their battles, with ‘South Africa, 1900’ and ‘I wish you a happy New Year, Victoria RI’ inscribed on the tin with the Royal Emblem. The Second Boer War (11 October 1899 – 31 May 1902) was fought between the British Empire and two independent Boer states, the South African Republic (Republic of Transvaal) and the Orange Free State, over the Empire’s influence in South Africa.

Banjo Paterson (pictured) was believed to have bought the chocolate off soldiers during his stint as a war correspondent in South Africa

Banjo Paterson (pictured) was believed to have bought the chocolate off soldiers during his  daring stint as a war correspondent in South Africa. Cadbury UK created the historical chocolates for British troops when Buckingham Palace placed an order for 70,000 to 80,000 pound tins of cocoa that was to be paid out directly from the Queen’s own purse.

According to the Cadbury Brothers, ‘the cocoa must be made into a paste and sweetened ready for use under the rough and ready conditions of camp life’ and ‘the tins to be specially made and decorated.’

The collector’s tins became a popular item to trade, with some tins going for five to ten pounds on the front.

Apparently Banjo Paterson bought the chocolate tin from British troops in 1899 when he was a war correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in South Africa. Banjo later sent it back to Australia..

The new home of the 12o year old Chocolate is now the National Library of Australia as part of wider collection of Banjo Patterson’s personal items. Can I try some of the chocolate please???

I love Old Jamaica!

ICadbury is bringing back a classic chocolate bar after a decade off our  shelves - Mirror Online

From the poem ‘The man from Snowy River” by Banjo Paterson

“He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko’s side,
Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough,
Where a horse’s hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride,
The man that holds his own is good enough.

About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
This entry was posted in Chocolates & Desserts, Fabulous Food, Food and drink, History, Let them eat Cake..., News and politics, Nobody's perfect..., Snacks & Little Bites, Travel, Voyages and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 120 year old CHOCOLATE!

  1. Vanille Pralinen says:

    Wow! Wonder if the 120 year old chocolate could still be eaten. If yes, I’d love to try it too! 😋


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