Hershey vs. the UK

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/24/nyregion/after-a-deal-british-chocolates-wont-cross-the-pond.html?_r=0

That’s insane. I understand Hershey has a trademark to protect, but overseas Cadbury has this lovely distinct taste to it that the ones created here simply don’t have. I can’t believe Hershey was able to block the importing of decent eating chocolate. LBB Imports, the name of the company Hershey sued, cannot sell imported candies such as Toffee Crisps, Yorkies, and Maltesers, as well as candy with American equivalents like Cadbury, Kit-Kats, and Rolos anymore, and the lawsuit was dropped. It’s like an affront against globalization though.

We’re already facing a chocolate shortage. I am now even less likely to buy Hershey products, and I originally had only really liked Kit-Kats, Reese’s Pieces, and York Peppermint Patties, none of which I purchased on anything resembling a regular basis. They may have a right to protect their trademark, but this leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Empathy

http://www.livescience.com/17378-rats-show-empathy.html

“When the free rat opens the door, he knows exactly what he’s doing — he knows that the trapped rat is going to get free,” Mason said. “It’s deliberate, purposeful, helping behavior.”

Lean on You by lakteed

Old picture of mine!

Business is “competitive” and it’s cool to be “cutthroat” and you have to be “willing to be a bitch” to get what you want. It’s good to be “good at manipulation.” Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

Look, I get it. We get told this so that we stand up for ourselves and be ambitious despite the vocal minority of incredibly irritating people, so that we know how to act around certain people, so that we work hard and grab fleeting opportunities, and so that we’re successful. Most of the advice that comes out of the people telling you the above catch-phrases are well-meaning and only want to make sure you don’t slack off because they want you to do well. That’s fine. But people have this weird “Tragedy of the Commons” sort of issue with the “business fields” when they’re young that really doesn’t seem to be based on reality. There’s a lot of opportunity for you and your peers, surprise! Some of which can be self-created if we feel up to it. It’s up to you to seize it, but very few people have gotten really far (I guess except in politics. Yay royalty and conquering.) by pulling down the people around them.

You can open the damn cage for the other guy before getting to the chocolate chips, aight?

Mast Brothers Chocolate Tour

This is painted on the left wall.

I took a tour of the Mast Brothers’ factory on Friday. It was brilliant. I’ve taken “chocolate themed” tours before, and visited the Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco when I was a teenager, and neither of those visits made me feel as excited about chocolate as the ~45 minute walk around the factory watching things being made did. I feel more educated now, and not in the way Starbucks or Teavana wanted its employees to feel and to make the customers feel when I worked for them (apologies to the, honestly, really great people who complimented me on how genuine I was), but more like when we visited the Kitchen at Grove Station and talked to the guy serving Modcup coffee near the door about how cold it was to be right next to the door during a late autumn grand opening. I still need to try honey processed coffee.

Sorry for the potato.

I tried to take some pictures, but my new phone’s camera is kind of a potato (thought apparently an improvement on the old camera), and my hands are not the most stable. I should ask for a new camera for Christmas.

I like the wooden flag. The bags with the color on them are sugar and the bags with no visible markings are cocoa beans. I convinced my boyfriend not to go lay in them, somehow.

We weren’t allowed to take pictures after passing the counter, which is understandable, as the ideas behind any number of their machines is fairly simple and easy to steal with a few good pictures, and they have a policy of a human touch being most important, which means many of their machines aren’t perfect automatons. If they did, I’m sure someone with fantastic business sense and fewer ethics could probably drive them out with a few tweaks to make the machines perfect. Although the idea of keeping the machines imperfect and stressing out the employees is a little odd, they did make a comment about how the latest they’ve worked until was maybe midnight, made it sound outrageous, and confirmed that their job was way, way better than retail in that regard at least. Anyway, the machines obviously don’t hold them back. Read More

The Rise of the Gourmand

https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/heres-why-women-want-to-smell-like-dessert-100766803358.html

Here’s Why Women Want To Smell Like Dessert

You might not know the term, but everyone’s smelled a gourmand before. Just step into Bath and Body Works for titles like “Warm Vanilla Sugar” and “Winter Candy Apple” to get a sense of the category. Gourmands are fragrances reminiscent of sweet foods, like desserts.

This category is still a fairly tween/teenager-run show, but I haven’t necessarily seen a big change in what people like as I’ve gotten older. Now I buy Philosophy gifts for my friends instead of Bath and Body Works sets, but they still have names like “Vanilla Birthday Cake”, “Almond Glazed”, and “Sugary Cinnamon Icing.”

Read More

Chocolate: three ways

Damian Allsop’s Water Chocolates

Having used and shaped chocolate in the past, this is intriguing to me because water was usually the bane of my existence. I can’t even imagine what the process would be to keep the chocolate from separating into an unappetizing grainy mess. It’s apparently about 10% less fat than regular chocolate, and I believe the chocolatiers when they say the process makes eating the chocolate a lot more of a pure chocolate taste experience. I wonder if it’s genuinely creamy, or if it’s more of a hard candy texture. Obviously, I really, really want to try it ;D

https://i0.wp.com/lovetunbridgewells.com/wp-content/gallery/damian-allsop-chocolate-pop-up-shop/damien_allsop05.jpg

I was also looking into some Latino literature and was thinking I would start reading Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Defying preset roles and destinies, growing the nerve to stand up to crazy people, and expressing oneself through food, complete with recipes? Sounds fantastic. In fact, a lot of Latino literature seems to include something food-related, generally as a mood indicator. I think that this common device, which, don’t get me wrong, is used in a lot of literature in a lot of cultures, is interestingly blatant. It’s very clear what Rebecca’s lime-eating tic in One Hundred Years of Solitude is supposed to indicate (though I’m sure there’s subtext in there that I haven’t yet examined), and Like Water for Chocolate creates a story where for a while, the biggest indicator of Tita’s emotions are her cooking (according to Goodreads, haha.) Antonio in Bless Me, Ultima is picked on for eating traditional Mexican food at school, an obvious indication of the difficulties of trying to stay true to both your roots and your leaves. It’s so clearly intertwined with descriptions of culture, it’s fascinating.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f5/Like_Water_for_Chocolate_(Book_Cover).png

And of course, we return to modernity: chocolate chicken.

Have you seen how incredible chocolate fried chicken looks?

Unfortunately, it’s on the other side of the country, so I guess I’ll build up my Type 2 Diabetes some other way. Sigh.