On July 9, 1997, the state of Massachusetts declared the chocolate chip cookie to be their official state cookie.

It replaced the previous state confection, the barley-and-oat cookie, which had been adopted in 1697 by the legislature of the Province of Massachusetts. The barley-and-oat cookie was a deliberately bitter and unpleasant-tasting baked good, with the whole oats providing a particularly unpleasant mouthfeel.

This was deliberate, as the Puritans who had invented the cookie thought that its poor taste and texture would present “a bulwarke againste Idleness” and that sweet treats were “tooles of the Devil and temptations to Sinne.” By limiting themselves to unpleasant cookies, the Puritans thought, they could resist sin and temptation.

It is worth noting that a contemporary account, from 1698, notes that “as poore as these Cookys are” that they are still “bettere by a League than thee usual Fare” at a Puritan dinner table.

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