February 5, 1953

On February 5, 1953, in Great Britain, the sweet and sugar rationing that started in World War II, ended, just eight short years after the end of the war. Candy shop and confectionaries nationwide in England braced for the onslaught of children and adults, money in hand, who would finally be able to indulge their sweet tooths without a government-imposed limit. Shop owners were offering free samples of nougat, toffee and licorice to children to get them hooked, before guiding them to the harder, more expensive sweets, like Mars Bars, Snickers, and Toblerones. With the hope of eventually cultivating a select few into connoisseurs of Swiss Milk Chocolate or even, dare we say, Belgium Dark. The back-alley Candymen, and their “hey kid, wanna buy some American chocolate, Snickers and Milky Ways, just like the Yanks get,” quickly were pushed out of business. No one needed to buy back alley knock-offs, when the real thing could be bought cheaper and fresher in the local shop. The paradigm had shifted and the shady chocolate pushers died off like the dinosaurs when the meteor of de-rationing hit. So, Big Chocolate was born in England and the Brits waistlines haven’t been the same since.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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