Move over, the wheel, September 16 is National Choose Your Chocolate Day, an opportunity to celebrate what might be the world’s sweetest invention. This perfect combination of cocoa, milk, and sugar has been celebrated for thousands of years and has graced the tables of kings, presidents, celebrities and, of course, your grandma. National Choose Your Chocolate Day corresponds with the birthday of one of chocolate’s modern visionaries, a woman who no doubt belongs in the pantheon of great chocolatiers, Mary See of See’s Candies.
To honor this confection, and the woman whose innovative and high-quality recipes have laid the foundation for nearly 100 years of candy-making excellence, See’s Candies has sponsored National Choose Your Chocolate Day. The company is offering many fun, informative, and exciting ways to celebrate Mary See and her chocolate legacy. The quiz below will help you decide which chocolate candy matches your personality.
History of National Choose Your Chocolate Day
Chocolate has been a mainstay of our diets for more than three millennia. The Aztecs greatly revered the cacao plant, and the drink they created from it and even considered it a gift from Quetzlacoatl, their God of wisdom. At the time, it was served without sugar but still was thought to have many positive health properties. It wasn’t until 16th century Europe that milk and sugar were combined with cocoa to make the chocolate we think of today. It was enjoyed throughout the royal courts of Europe for centuries, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that it was able to be made in quantities large enough for the average person to afford.
Enter Mary See. The matriarch of the See family was known for her high-quality candy and chocolate recipes. Born Mary Wiseman on this day in 1854 in Ontario, Canada, Mary raised three children in and around Ontario, and her confections were enjoyed solely by her family for years. It wasn’t until 1921, when at the age of 65, she moved with her elder son Charles to Los Angeles and helped him found what would be the first See’s Candies location in Pasadena.
Mary’s recipes strictly called for only the finest ingredients available and stringent production standards. These would become the hallmarks of See’s earliest successes and are notably still adhered to today. In fact, many of the candies in the current See’s lineup still use those early recipes. By 1925, there were more than a dozen See’s Candies locations around Los Angeles and in the ensuing decades, the brand would spread across California, finding a particular foothold in San Francisco, helping to build that city’s reputation for high-quality chocolate.
Mary See’s influence can’t be understated and it has been widely regarded as key to the brand’s success. The company never adds preservatives to their candies, have strict ingredient quality control, and sell directly to consumers through hundreds of West Coast shops. This ensures that every See’s Candies experience is good enough for Mary See. She is so iconic, that boxes of See’s Candies still bear her likeness as a reminder to See’s customers that everything inside still carries the Mary See’s seal of approval