Chocolate holds an important spot in our nation’s early history. With a famous rebellion against tea and all things British, our founders chose hot chocolate and coffee drinks as symbols of freedom. It wasn’t long until the tasty ingredient started finding its way into many recipes, from baked goods to early chocolate bars. The rest is chocolate history!
From a symbol of freedom to a Valentine’s Day symbol of love, chocolate is a treat that has endured the centuries. Celebrate this uniquely American treat this Valentine’s weekend at the Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street, with Colonial chocolate making demonstrations 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, February 9-10.
A historical interpreter will demonstrate how to make chocolate using only hand tools. Using cacao beans ground by the local miller, chocolate in Colonial America was often flavored with other exotic tastes, such as chili pepper and anise, from the spice trade. Sample the tasty drink Colonists enjoyed and take home some American Heritage Chocolate, available exclusively at historic sites.
The Betsy Ross House is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; Tuesday through Sunday in January and February, and holiday Mondays, including Presidents’ Day, February 18. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for children and seniors. An optional audio guide is $7, which includes admission. Don’t miss the brand new exhibit opening February 2, Flags to Riches: The Stories of Rebecca Franks & Betsy Ross, which contrasts the lives of a wealthy Loyalist and a working-class Patriot in Colonial America.
The Betsy Ross House is dedicated to preserving the legend of the first flag and the story of Betsy Ross, herself, and of all colonial women. The House, located at 239 Arch Street, just blocks from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, is one of Philadelphia’s most popular historic attractions with more than 200,000 visitors annually.
For more information about the Betsy Ross House or any of its programs, or call (215) 686-1252 or visit www.betsyrosshouse.org.