This is about my love affair with chocolate. Most specifically, Esther Price Chocolate.
But first, a little about chocolate. After all, next to roses and jewelry, chocolate is the most popular Valentine’s Day gift.
Originally, chocolate wasn’t for every one. The Mayans used it for priestly rituals. You know, sacrifice a few virgins, watch the game, knock back a few hot chocolates.
When the Europeans ‘discovered’ America, chocolate came back to the motherland with them. It was a huge hit. Again, not for everyone. The rich enjoyed chocolate so much, they had to create new dishes for it. Chocolate sets were all the rage, and antique ones today can sell for a bundle.
Some of them can be pretty fancy too.
Eventually, chocolate went from a drink to food stuffs. Candy, again for the wealthy, cakes, biscuits, and cookies all got a whiff of chocolate over time.
The Central American Aztec nation used chocolate in cooking much earlier, and Chocolate Chicken in Mexico today is still a hit. It’s not sweet. And frankly, neither is chocolate until sugar is added.
Chocolate made it way around the world and today outsells all other candies. Entire empires are built on it. Hershey’s being an example.
But, back to Esther Price. Esther took home ec, just like every other girl in Montgomery County Ohio. As our good fortune would have it, she learned to make fudge. Excited about it when she got home, she convinced her mother to allow her to make more. And she improved and improved, until she perfected candy making to an art the area had never seen.
Once out of High School, Esther went to work at a downtown Dayton department store…remember those? I’ve whined about that before, so I’ll move on. She took her homemade chocolates to her co-workers. After leaving the workforce to start her family, the same co-workers offered to pay Esther for her candies.
An industry was born.
Her belief that cream and butter made the difference and her insistence on using the finest ingredients available put her on the map.
I too am a member of the Church of Cream and Butter, member, heck, I’m the High Priest!
The candies you see in the store today are made at the same place Esther ran on Wayne Avenue.
During the peak season, the company employs about 100 people, and they produce one million boxes of candy per year!
I fell in love with Chocolate at an early age, and the chocolate love of my life, Esther Price, was introduced to me as a kid. The chocolate Easter Eggs with sugary icing designs were unmistakably Esther. Her gold foil boxes of candy will catch your eye when you walk into Kroger or any other store lucky enough to carry them.
She even went so far as to combine two Southwestern Ohio favorites, Mikesell’s Potato Chips are now coated in Esther Price Chocolate. So good, it’s criminal!
Every time I go to Ohio, I have an affair with Esther’s candy.
Yes, love on Wayne Avenue is an easy thing. And her 50 shades of chocolate will whip you into a frenzy!