November 2010

Ferrero Rocher: Gold-Wrapped Deliciousness

The classic Ferrero Rochet is one of the best Christmas candies, hands down, accept no substitutes.  Yes, there are others.  And yes, Ferrero Rochets are available throughout the year.  But I think most people still consider them to be a Christmas thing, and rightfully so.

There aren't many things that I would take over a Ferrero Rochet chocolate.  There are fancier chocolates, chocolates that can only be purchased in boutiques.  Ferrero Rochet, for all their deliciousness, can be purchased at the everyday grocery store. 

How common, I know many people say. They sniff, haughtily, and go back to discussing the ultra-rare and ultra-expensive bar they brought back from this darling little chocolatier in London. 

It is true that Ferrero Rochet are available in (comparatively) down-market places like Safeway and Rite Aid.  I bought my little trio at Safeway, at the checkout stand, where they stood on the impulse buy racks and tempted me - successfully - to buy on impulse.

Terry's Chocolate Orange

This classic "whack and unwrap" holiday treat has just hit the shelves in our market.  The chocolate orange is one of those "once per year" treats I allow myself.  Much like Cadbury Crème Eggs, I can't imagine eating more than one a year.  (Or rather, I can, and it's a future I do not want for myself.)

The Terry's Chocolate Orange is a rare blend of really delicious chocolate and a gimmicky form factor.  Whack and unwrap, indeed.  Each chocolate orange is sizeable - 175 grams for the whole thing, equivalent to three Snickers bars.  But the orange is subdivided into about 20 smaller slices. 

These are held together at the end, thus "whack and unwrap."  The idea is that you slam the thing on the counter, and when you unwrap it, all the slices fall out nicely.

Chocolate Shortage Predicted: PANIC NOW!

A recent article in London newspaper The Independent lays out a nightmarish scenario, predicting that in 20 years "chocolate will be like caviar.  It will become so rare and so expensive that the average Joe just won't be able to afford it."

(How expensive is caviar, exactly? Between $50 and $100 per ounce.)

The reason lies in a set of intersecting simple economic principles:
1.    Consumption is increasing faster than supply
2.    Cocoa farmers aren't being paid enough to keep replanting cacao trees, which is time-consuming, slow, labor-intensive process that takes 3-5 years before it starts paying off.