National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day
annually on January 3rd
Chocolate covered cherries are celebrated today. They are also known as cherry cordials; today a cordial is a confection in which a fruit filling is inside a chocolate shell. Cordial contains the word "cor," which is Latin for heart, and they originally could be a food or drink. Until the 1400s cordials were used medicinally, particularly for settling the stomach; they were also used as aphrodisiacs. By the 1700s they were known for their intoxicating effects, and were a type of liqueur. Around the same time a confection called griottes were created in eastern France. They were made by covering sour griotte cherries and kirsch with chocolate. Griottes and cordials then came to America, and the sweet alcoholic cordial was added to the chocolate covered fruit. Cordials in America were a strong, sweet, and syrupy liqueur made from crushing whole cherries and steeping them in sugar syrup with a little bit of alcohol. Chocolate covered fruits with cordial liqueur soon came simply to be known as cordials. Cordials came to be made with various fruits, but cherries were, and still are the most popular. Originally made with the liqueur, today the cordials or chocolate covered cherries are commonly made with a sugar syrup flavored with cherries instead. The most popular chocolate covered cherry brands are Cella's, Queen Anne's, and Brach's. The oldest of these is Cella's, which started production in 1864, although large-scale production didn't begin until 1929. Queen Anne's started in 1948. The Brock Candy Company began making chocolate covered cherries in the 1930s. They were bought out by the E.J. Brach Corporation in 1994, and the name was changed to Brach's. Mars and Hershey's also make versions of chocolate covered cherries. The confections are most popular during the holiday season, so it is fitting National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day happens right after the new year.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by eating chocolate covered cherries! Try some of the most popular brands, such as Cella's, Queen Anne's, or Brach's, or make your own.