Wacky World of Choc Wednesdays: Harry Potter’s chocolate habit

“Chocolate. Eat. It’ll help.”
~Remus Lupin to Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The interwebs are all abuzz for Harry Potter, and rightly so, in celebration of the release of the last film installment. For lovers of the books and films alike, this is a very exciting, although bittersweet time.

All the more appropriate, then, to consider the importance of chocolate in the wizarding world. Its comforting properties for emotional fans are most welcome now.

Not long ago, a delightful friend visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a new theme park at Universal Orlando. When I saw her soon after, she generously presented me with this special token – the Honeydukes Dark Chocolate bar.

Of course I can’t eat it yet. It’s too special. I need to stare at it and desire it for a long time first. Or save it for use in the event of a Dementor attack.

The gift of this bar and my friend’s contagious enthusiasm for Harry Potter rekindled my curiosity and got me sniffing around for chocolate’s place in the Harry Potter stories. As it turns out, those wonderful wizards just might be a bunch of chocoholics like us Muggles (or Muggle-born, as the case might be).

According to the Harry Potter Wiki:

Chocolate has special properties in the wizarding world.

Not only does it make a wonderful treat for the consumer, but it serves as a powerful and excellent antidote for the chilling, cold effect produced by contact with Dementors, and other particularly nasty forms of dark magic. Remus Lupin carried chocolate with him on the Hogwarts Express and gave Harry Potter some after the latter was attacked by a Dementor. When Madam Pomfrey heard that Remus Lupin had given Harry chocolate after his encounter with the Dementor, she nodded approvingly and stated that “at last, we have a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher who knows his remedies.” She herself used a large chunk of Honeydukes chocolate in the hospital wing to treat Harry Potter and Hermione Granger after they and Sirius Black were attacked by several Dementors in 1994.

Throughout the books, Harry and his fellow wizards stock up on treats at the beloved Honeydukes, a sweet shop in picturesque, magical Hogsmeade Village. (Like all excellent candy shops, its basement hides a secrete passageway to Hogwarts.) References to all manner of candy, much of it chocolatey, abound. There’s Charm Choc, Chocoballs, Chocolate Cauldrons, Chocolate Frogs, Chocolate Skeletons, Chocolate Wands, Choco-Loco, exploding bonbons (which contain pure cocoa and coconut dynamite!), Fudge Flies, Shock-o-Choc, and Wizochoc, just to name a few. The Harry Potter Wiki provides a comprehensive list.

But where do we, the humble, hungry fans, find chocolate suitable for a wizard’s cravings and/or antidotal needs?

We’re in luck, thanks to the Wizarding World’s Honeydukes Homemade Sweets shop, which now has a US location and countrywide distribution of a line of Harry Potter tie-in candies that are actually available in real life.

Universal describes Honeydukes as:

A must-stop for visitors to Hogsmeade, at Honeydukes the shelves are lined with all manner of colorful sweets, including Acid Pops, exploding bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, treacle fudge, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Chocolate Frogs, which contain a wizard training card in each box. Inside the shop you can fill up a bag of Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans… who knows what tasty (or not so tasty) flavors you’ll discover! The shop also offers other classic favorites such as chocolates and fudge.

Here’s a video showing the theme park location of the sweets shop:

I find myself happily caught up in the Harry Potter frenzy. I even watched the sappy J.K. Rowling docudrama (Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story, starring Poppy Montgomery) on Lifetime — it was cloyingly adorable. In doing this research on chocolate, I’ve decided that there are several wizard candies that I’d like to try. They are: the Honeydukes milk chocolate bar, Chocolate Frogs, Bertie Bott’s Jelly Beans (so eww but so cool!), Fudge Flies, Droobles Best Blowing Gum, Jelly Slugs, Acid Pops, and Fizzing Whizbees.

Oh, who am I kidding, I’d like to try them all. And I plan to.

“After all, it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” (wisdom from Albus Dumbledore, quoted in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

A note on the ethics behind this line of candy: The company that produces Harry Potter chocolate received a failing grade from the International Labor Rights Forum. Members of The Harry Potter Alliance, a non-profit organization devoted to civic engagement using parallels from the Harry Potter books, have recently made great strides in asking Warner Bros. to choose fair trade chocolate for its candy products. Actors from the film series have also joined in this active campaign. See this Child Slavery Horcrux Update for more information. I plan to get involved immediately and I am hopeful that this continued advocacy and intervention will make a difference.


Leave a Reply

  • About

    Bittersweet Notes is an open source research project on chocolate, culture, and the politics of food. I invite you to join me as I explore the story of chocolate and the life stories of those involved with chocolate at its many stages of production and consumption.

  • Stay connected