The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

Roald Dahl and chocolate

Take a look at our virtual display about Roald Dahl and chocolate. It's the next best thing to looking at it in the Museum.

Pictures of old fashioned chocolate bars

Roald Dahl loved creating miraculous made-up food – especially chocolate and sweets! In one of his best-known stories, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he used his passion for sweet treats to create the eccentric chocolate inventor Willy Wonka and his astounding, sweet-filled factory. In The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me he creates sweets to fill a wondrous sweet-shop.

Roald’s love of chocolate came from his childhood, and he uses some of his school memories to inspire and influence his chocolate-y books. Read on to find out a bit more about these two books, and the inspiration behind them…

Early draft

This is the first page of the earliest surviving draft of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, written in 1961. Roald’s original title for the book was Charlie’s Chocolate Boy and here he lets his imagination run wild, dreaming up wonderful sweets and chocolates for Willy Wonka to invent

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Draft page from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Can you spot where Roald Dahl changed the name of some of his best known and mysterious characters? The Oompa-Loompas in Wonka’s Chocolate Factory were originally called….Whipple-Scrumpets! However just before publishing, he decided to change the name to ‘Oompa-Loompa’.

The whipple scrumpets appear in the name of one of Wonka's fabulous chocolate bars, do you know which one? Yes, that's right, the Whipple-Scrumptious Fudge-Mallow Delight!

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Chocolate inspiration

These photographs of early Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate wrappers were found in Roald’s files - maybe giving him a bit of inspiration for a certain book about a famous chocolate factory...

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The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me draft

This page from a draft of The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me lists the oodles of different sweets in The Grubber, created by Roald. One of Billy’s suppliers was a famous chocolate-inventor – can you spot him?

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Letter home from a young Roald Dahl

Roald used details from his childhood to write lots of his books. His school tuck shop was called the Grubber, and this was the inspiration behind Billy's sweet-shop in The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me. In this letter home Roald wrote all about the things he could get from his Grubber, like bootlaces, sardines and of course sweets! 

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See for yourself

We always have treasures from our archive on display in the Museum. Come and see for yourself when we re-open.