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The Origins Of Chocolate Mousse Are Varied

Every April 3rd National Chocolate Mousse Day recognizes the decadent dessert that gained popularity in France in the 1800’s.

  • The words mousse and chocolate are derived from the French language, so it isn’t difficult to believe France is where to begin looking for the beginnings of this versatile creation. While we have no exact point in time when this might have been, we do know chocolate was introduced to the French around the year 1615, and they fell in love.
  • Then a century later the French developed a method for making a mousse.
  • In French, the word Mousse means ‘foam’, and this is an apt description of this dessert, being light and frothy, or creamy and thick, it all depends on how you prepare this scrumptious treat.
  • At first this delicacy was known under the name of ‘mayonnaise de chocolat.’
  • Savory mousses are frequently prepared from poultry, foie gras, fish, or shellfish, to be eaten as a first course or light entree. They may be stabilized by the addition of gelatin. Chocolate and mocha mousses are sometimes made with a custard base. For a fruit mousse, pureed fruit or juice replaces the milk in the custard.
  • In the United States, an advertisement in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle in 1887 included classes on how to make chocolate mousse offered by a Miss Parloa. She also advised how to make potato soup, larded grouse, potato timbale and corn muffins.
  • The recipe first started appearing in a “Housekeepers Column” in the 1897 edition of the Boston globe. The recipe actually produced a dish with far more in common with chocolate pudding, instead of the more familiar foamy treat of this day.
  • The French artist Toulouse Lautrec was the one that had the great idea of mixing in chocolate to the airy invention.
  • Mousses, including those chocolate-flavored, originated in the 1700s, with the first known recipe for chocolate mousse documented by Menon, a French writer, in 1750, in his book La science du maître d’hôtel confiseur (loosely translated as ‘The science of a master confectioner’).
  • The first written record of chocolate mousse in the United States comes from a Food Exposition held at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1892.
  • Chocolate mousse came into the public eye in the U.S. in the 1930’s, about the time as chocolate pudding mixes were introduced.
  • In 1977, New York chef Michel Fitoussi created a white chocolate mousse, which for a period of time was very popular, but dark chocolate remains the classic choice.


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