High Tea History; What is a Chocolate Pot?

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If you have been to Inn Victoria’s High Tea, most likely you have tried our popular fresh cucumber sandwich. What really makes this tea sandwich special is the fresh cream cheese we use from the award winning Green Mountain Farms in Northern Vermont. They source all their milk from neighboring St. Albans and local diary farms.

You are in for a treat with this month’s IVBB (Inn Victoria’s Breakfast Blog). Not only will I be sharing our most popular tea sandwich recipe, I am going to include a little High Tea History. Not a tea drinker? Not a coffee drinker? But you want to sit and enjoy one of the notably best High Teas in Southern, Vermont? Not a problem; Inn Victoria is widely known for our collection of tea’s, teacups and teapots, but did you know that the tall pots are not actually used for tea? They are chocolate pots!


One of our Favorite Chocolate Pots
Chocolate pots have been a staple in homes throughout North America for decades.  For centuries they were very popular in Europe.  Most chocolate pots are pretty bulbous at the base, and narrow up towards the top.  They are not made with various shapes like a teapot. This allows for easy stirring of the chocolate that may settle. This distinct shape was said to get its name, because this was the shape of the vessel where they first analyzed and found ancient cacao residue, deemed the Chocolate pot! 
In France if you visit the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, you will see their Silver Chocolate pot on display. Another famous chocolate pot was that of Thomas Jefferson, pictured below!
Thomas Jefferson’s Chocolate Pot
While enjoying  High Tea at Inn Victoria you may learn all sorts of rich history about the Victorian era, some English history, and more about the different teas from around the world.  We display our chocolate pots off to the side on a separate tea chest.  If you ask owner, Penny Cote to make you some hot chocolate, she will grab a cocoa pot and head over to the kitchen where she will shave just enough Belgian chocolate off from an 11 lb. block and serve it to you the proper way! 

 
Part of Inn Victoria’s Extensive Tea Pot Collection

Our Best Cucumber Tea Sandwich Recipe

One Seedless Cucumber
4 oz. Green Mountain Farm Cream Cheese
1 TB. Dried Chives
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. Course Black Pepper
1 Loaf of the oh so popular three-cheese semolina bread from Brickfire Bakery

Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature when you start, and your mixing bowl is clean! Grab your hand mixer and have it ready. Mix all ingredients (except for cucumbers) in your mixing bowl. Beat for 1 minute or until combined. This can be done days ahead, which I prefer because this allows all the flavors to really meld. When ready to assemble, cut bread into 1 inch slices, and spread each half with a decent amount of the cream cheese mixture. Slice cucumbers thinly and put 5-6 thin slices in each sandwich, top with remaining slice of bread. Simple as that! The cucumber sandwich is very popular in a lot of tearooms, originating in England. Everyone has their own twist on the sandwich; you could use goat cheese, radishes, pumpernickel or even play around with shapes, like we did in the picture below!

Now, don’t you want to go gather some friends you haven’t seen in a while, your siblings, your grand daughters or grand mothers for tea? Or hot chocolate for that matter? 




See you soon,
Dan and Penny Cote, Owners 
Inn Victoria, Chester, Vermont
Written by, Jessica Knisley, Innkeeper




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