For the Love of Chocolate: Truffles and Milton Hershey’s One and Only Love
With chocolate’s top ranking as a food most associated with love, it comes as no surprise that Hershey, Pennsylvania, has appropriately coined the second month of the year Chocolate-Covered February. Aside from the customary dinner for two and wine and chocolate pairings, couples who visit Hershey this month can partake in a unique experience at The Hershey Story Museum.
Whether you bring your sweetheart or best friend, duos can try their hand at making some of the most delicious truffles they’ll ever taste in the Museum’s only evening Chocolate Lab class, Truffles for Couples.
During the one-hour class, participants will hand-roll and coat rich, dark chocolate ganache in milk and white chocolate, then finish their truffles with a sweet array of toppings. Each guest will also receive a customized chocolate “name card,” package their chocolate creations in a charming box and receive a fresh, long-stemmed red rose to take home. The class, most suitable for adults, is $20 per person and requires registration online at HersheyStory.org. Daytime truffle-making classes are available for the whole family, too!
Guests who partake in Truffles for Couples also learn about the courtship and marriage of Milton and Catherine Hershey. Although not quite as popular as Romeo and Juliet, or Scarlett and Rhett, the romance between the chocolate magnate and his beloved bride is storybook worthy.
A Chocolate-Covered Love Story
Milton Hershey met Catherine Sweeney in 1897, during a business trip to her hometown, Jamestown, New York. Mr. Hershey stopped at a local soda shop where he saw Catherine socializing with friends. The two were introduced and the rest, as they say, is history. After a year-long courtship, the young working class woman from New York married the successful chocolate-making entrepreneur from Pennsylvania in 1898 in the rectory of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Catherine was 25 and Milton was 40.
Although Mr. Hershey was extremely busy building his chocolate empire, he was deeply devoted to “Kitty,” as he called her, and made time for the two to travel. Their extensive traveling took them to England, France and Egypt. While the trips were primarily for pleasure, their purpose grew to include seeking a cure for an undiagnosed illness from which Kitty was suffering. Sadly, a cure for Kitty’s illness was never found and she died in 1915 at the age of 43.
Milton Hershey never remarried, instead focusing on expanding his chocolate company and developing his model industrial town. As for Milton Hershey’s love of Kitty, the cliché rings true—love never dies. He carried a photograph of Kitty with him until his death in 1945. Throughout his life he gave Kitty much credit. In fact, when Milton Hershey placed his fortune in trust for the newly established residential school for orphan boys, he credited his wife for the plan to create an orphan school. “It was Kitty’s idea,” he would always say when asked about the impulse to establish the school (known today as Milton Hershey School).
More information about Catherine Hershey and her contributions, as well as information about Milton Hershey, can be found by visiting www.HersheyArchives.org, or click here for more information about Kitty’s life.