Ragged Soldier Sutlery and Vintage Volumes

Generally in Alphabetical Order but with Some Obvious Placement of a Couple of Categories at the Top




Dolls & Accessories

Articles: Virginia's Veranda

About Us & Picture

Books, Modern

Books, 19th Century Reproductions


Craft Supplies & Sundries


Dolls & Accessories

DVD about Emma Edmonds


Needlework Necessities and Novelties

Parlor Games & Entertainments

School Supplies

Sundries and Craft Supplies

Tin Soldiers


Wholesale Information

Order Form

Ordering Information

Contact Us

Speaking and Consulting

Period Chocolate

Once considered food only for kings, chocolate made its way into ordinary life. However, unlike its most used form today as solid pieces or bars, early chocolate in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century was most frequently consumed as a beverage. By the civil war period, chocolate had made its way into many cooked goods as well as further variations of beverages. If you look at the Feeding America website for period cookbooks or you can find a period cookbook on google books, you can get recipes for using the chocolate. But, alas for true chocolate lovers, chocolate chip cookies (see the article "What No Chocolate Chip Cookies" in "Virginia's Veranda" to learn about cookies) were still unknown during the civil war period. Also, in researching recipes, sometimes a "chocolate cookie" or other chocolate baked good would not contain any chocolate. Instead, the item was intended to be eaten with a chocolate beverage.

So if you are going to make goodies using period chocolate recipes, to get as close a reproduction you should use period style chocolate. We have found chocolate from two different manufacturers that could be used. Just be aware that none of these are milk chocolate. Milk chocolate wasn't invented until after the civil war period.

One is American Heritage Chocolate. The picture to the right shows the forms that we carry. And if you look closely at the stick which has been removed from its wrapper, it has developed what is known as "bloom." Bloom is a white coating that sometimes develops on chocolate as it is stored, especially if it is stored in a refrigerator. It doesn't affect the flavor and definitely has no effect on its eatability.

This chocolate comes in both a solid form or pre-grated and is flavored with a subtle blend of cinnamon, star anise, orange, vanilla, and -- surprisingly -- cayenne. The solid forms Include a small stick (0.42 oz) which duplicates spiced chocolate sticks which were an ingredient in a beverage known as "Spanish Chocolate." But I'd expect quite a few were snitched while still a solidd and eaten without being made into a beverage. They are a good way to sample the chocolate. The other solid form is a block (6 oz) which can be broken apart and used in cooking. The grated chocolate (12.7 oz) comes in a bag or cannister ready to be made into a hot chocolate beverage - the directions are on the outside of the container but use hot water instead of milk.

The other maker of chocolate that we carry is from a small company in Massachusetts. They are making chocolate in the same way it was manufactured during the civil war period. Consequently, it is not as smooth as modern chocolate. The smoothing process - known as conching - wasn't developed until 1879. This chocolate has a feel of containing fine grit which are tiny fragments of the cacao beans. The chocolate itself has a very limited number of ingredients being mostly cacao and sugar.

The chocolate from this maker is all in solid form but can be chopped or grated for cooking or making into a hot chocolate beverage. We carry the following forms:

Mexican Style (this is the grittiest)

Mexican Style Cacao Puro (2.7 oz) - Mexican style chocolate that contains only cacao (70%) and sugar. It comes as two disks per package. A single disk and a package are shown in the left picture.

Mexican Style Vanilla (2.7 oz) - A flavored Mexican style chocolate
that has vanilla added to the cacao (50%) and sugar. With the increased
sugar, this is sweeter than the Puro. Like the Puro, it comes as two disks in a package. A single disk and a package are shown in the left picture.

Chocolate Bars (3.0 oz) - These bars may be used for cooking and making chocolate beverages. And although candy bars were not a period way to eat chocolate, if you want a real splurge break off a piece of one of these
bars and let it melt on your tongue. The difference among them is the
percentage of cacao. We have them in 60%, 80%, 87%, and 95% (This last one is known as "Wicked Dark"). All bars are in the right picture except that we didn't have a
60% or 95% bar when we took the picture.

Due to melting above a certain temperature, we cannot guarantee shipments of chocolate will arrive in their original form if shipped when the temperature is above 85 degrees. If you need chocolate during such a time period, we can arrange to have it shipped express with dry ice added for cooling but there will be additional expense.

Price: Small Stick (0.42 oz) $ 1.40
Block (6 oz) $ 8.50
Shaved (12.7 oz) $15.00
Cacao Puro Discs (2.7 oz) $ 4.00
Mexican Vanilla (2.7 oz) $ 4.00
60% Cacao Bar (3 oz) $ 6.00
80% Cacao Bar (3 oz) $ 6.00
87% Cacao Bar (3 oz) $ 6.00
95% Cacao Bar (3 oz)

If you want to look at the next item in the list,
Necco Wafers,
click here