A bar of 120-year old Cadbury chocolate has been found still intact and looking almost good enough to eat, the ABC reported.
Conservators at the National Library of Australia unearthed the box of chocolates which dates back to the Boer War, and still has the century-old Cadbury logo visible on the six fingers of chocolate, packed in silver foil and straw.
Even more remarkable is who the chocolate belonged to: originally commissioned by Queen Victoria herself, the chocolates belonged to Banjo Patterson and were recovered from a box of the bush poet’s belongings, along with poems, diaries and newspaper clippings.
The distinctive souvenir tin was commissioned by Queen Victoria to provide comfort to troops in the Boer War, although there is no explanation as to why Patterson had them in his possession, or the more burning question – why he didn’t eat them!
The tin was inscribed with the phrases “South Africa, 1900” and “I wish you a happy New Year, Victoria RI.”
“There was quite an interesting smell when they were unwrapped,” National Library of Australia (NLA) conservator Jennifer Todd told ABC.
“[It was] an old tin of chocolates, belonging to Banjo, with the chocolates still wrapped in the box.”
Banjo Paterson was stationed in South Africa as a war correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age in 1899, where he is speculated to have bought the chocolate from serving troops.
The Library has embarked on conserving and digitising the collection to share with the world, using funds raised by crowdfunding. The Banjo Paterson collection will be available for viewing online once the project is completed.
You can see images of the chocolate and more information here.