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The Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka Day

Feb 1

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

“Invention is 93% perspiration 6% inspiration 3% perspiration and 2% butter scotch ripple.”

~ Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl, 1964

Fond of chocolate? Today marks the day that lucky golden ticket holders from the children's story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, gathered to tour Willy Wonka's factory. In the novel, the Wonka Bar is a chocolate bar and Willy Wonka’s signature product, said to be the "perfect candy bar". In the film version, the wrappers of the 1971 version are brown with an orange and pink border with a top hat over the "W" in Wonka, similar to the film's logo, and the chocolate bars resemble Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bars! Although Wonka's chocolate factory is credited with marvelous and magical candies and chocolates, there have been new innovations in the chocolate world in real life! Besides dark, milk, and white chocolate, as of 2017, you can now sample "Ruby chocolate." This new variety of chocolate was introduced by Barry Callebaut, a Belgian–Swiss cocoa company, which had been working on this variety since 2004. It is notable for its natural pink colour and sweet flavour described as a combination of white chocolate and raspberries! The chocolate is made from "ruby cocoa beans", an existing botanical cocoa bean variety, though the exact production method is a trade secret! Interestingly, the public interest in this the chocolate variety has been linked to the overall popularity of the colour pink in marketing and on social media in the 2010s, a phenomenon that is referred to as "millennial pink". 🍫 🍭 🍬 🍫

The Chocolate Factory

Many chocolate factories supply the world's taste for chocolate and people have their favorite manufacturer and candy bar and flavour combination.

But one of the most recognizable candies are M&M's, the initials standing for a collaboration between chocolate makers Forrest Mars (from Mars Candies) and Scotsman Bruce Murrie (from Hershey Chocolates).

M&M's have a "colorful" history of colors, some even entering urban legend status. 

The red version of the candies were eliminated in 1976-1985 because of health concerns over the dye amaranth (FD&C Red #2), which was a suspected carcinogen.  They were replaced with orange-colored candies, despite the fact that M&M's did not actually contain the offending dye.  The action was purely to satisfy worried consumers.


Red candies were reintroduced ten years later, but the orange colors remained. Paul Hethmon, then a student at University of Tennessee, started the campaign to bring back red M&M's as a joke that would eventually become a worldwide phenomenon.   


Blue M&Ms were introduced in 1995.

Various rumours about M&M colours have been rife since their introduction, the stuff of schoolyard legend, especially during Halloween candy season.  Here are few you may have heard in your youth:

  • Green M&M's are an aphrodisiac.

  • If the last candy out of a bag is red, make a wish and it will come true.

  • If the last candy out of a bag is yellow,  call in sick and stay home from school.

  • Orange M&Ms are good luck.

  • Brown ones are bad luck.

Another strange reference to M&Ms has to do with contract riders of certain rock bands, who often include a clause requiring the removal of green M&Ms from the candy bowls supplied to their dressing rooms.


Surprisingly, this urban myth is actually true, and not the result of superstitious musicians.  For the real reason, click the newest designer color M&M palette below.

The Chocolate Factory
The Chocolate Factory

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