Friday, September 28, 2007

Kintyre Chocolate - a History

The renovations in Kintyre continue. The chapel is almost done, the chocolate well is producing at a brisk rate and work on the keep continues.

Also slated to be built is a bridge to connect the small island of Gigha with the mainland of Kintyre.

As work progresses on the chocolate well (thanks to Mr Drystan Knight's tireless efforts), a number of questions have been asked about our fine chocolate production and interest has been expressed in the history of our chocolate. The Duke Regent Kintyre provided Miss Cornelia Rothschild with some books and his own research of the history and she has been kind enough to write the following history:

Kintyre has been populated for more than 5000 years by various peoples, all of which have contributed to the region's rich store of history, culture, and folklore. However, when one says 'Kintyre' nowadays, one's conversation almost invariably ends up wandering towards the subject of chocolate.

While Caledonian scholars are aware of ancient Kintyre legends which make mention of a certain substance known as 'the blood of the gods,' prized and revered for its fortifying properties and delicious taste (somewhat akin to the substance from Greek legend known as ambrosia, which likely also derived from a more ancient, Indo-European source), Kintyre's first recorded brush with chocolate can be traced back to the 14th century.

At that time there was a chapel present on the island of Gigha (pronounced 'gee-ya') known as St. Catan's Chapel. The entire region being highly religious at the time, the brothers of the St. Catan's order had become convinced that the native dragons which would alight at the top of the nearby mull were symbols of Satan himself, and that it was their duty to slay or drive them away.

One day, a member of the order known as Brother Beauford was engaged in the business of chasing off a dragon which had chosen to sun itself on the top of the nearby mull, and had consequently fallen asleep. Brother Beauford chose to plague the dragon with rocks and sticks, and, naturally, happened to wake it. As Brother Beauford ran down the side of the mull in terror, screaming at the top of his lungs, the dragon gave chase. It, being in a playful mood, picked Brother Beauford up in its massive claws and flapped out towards the sea, where it flung the monk.

As was typical for Beauford, his mouth was wide open when he hit the water. While sea water entered his mouth, something sweet did, as well. Its taste was so delightful that, for three years afterwards, Brother Beauford swam the bay into which he had been plunked looking for the source of the wonderful flavor which had washed into his mouth with the brackish water.

Finally, after many attempts, Beauford managed to locate a spot where something dark and delicious was leaking out of a crack in the bay floor. He harvested some of the material and presented it to his brothers, who were immediately as intoxicated by it as he had been. The dragons were quickly forgotten about, and the brothers focused on the extraction and the marketing of the newfound substance.

Sadly, Brother Beauford caught pneumonia on his last swim, and died a week later. The end of the St. Catan's order came when the Pope himself blamed an outbreak of acne on the substance from Kintyre, now identified as chocolate, and declared it to be of the devil. The chapel was immediately shut down. It was then that the Duchy of Kintyre was formed, in order that some governmental structure might be put in place to protect its peoples from the evils of chocolate -- evils such as the aforementioned acne, light-heartedness, sensuality, and the dreaded "sugar high."

It was not until the Pope passed away and a new Pope, a chocoholic who had fond memories of Kintyre chocolate, took the Papal throne that a bull was decreed permitting the processing of chocolate in Kintyre again. (See Smythe, 1897 for a well-researched thesis on the declaration of chocolate as an evil substance and the ensuing backlash's effect on the Protestant reformation.) The region, sitting on vast reservoirs of the magical substance, was immediately placed into a position of power, and has been producing the best chocolate in the world ever since.

St. Catan is still the patron saint of chocolatiers. Kintyre's culture has also been shaped by its most abundant natural resource -- chocolate is present in many festivals and post-14th century folklore, and the Kintyre Chocolate Festival attracts thousands every year from the country of Caledon and beyond.


Lapin Paris said...

Ah Lavendar.
You are loved ..
Please know that.

Becky said...

Oh Dar I love you

Jak said...

Ive sailed the seven seas,
Flown the whole blue sky.
But Ive returned with haste to where my friend does lie.
Ive searched the secret mists -
Ive climbed the highest peaks
Caught the wild wind home
to hear her soft voice speak
Ive been to ancient worlds
Ive scoured the whole universe
And caught the first train home
To be at her side.
No matter where I roam
I will come back to my texan rose
For no bonds can ever keep me from she

Mae said...

my arms are around you and i am at your side. i love you sweetie!