Fancy chocolate tin.
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|Fancy chocolate tin.|
This chocolate tin is a sign of the beginning of the end of good chocolate. It's a tin of Hershey's dark chocolate advertised as 65% cocoa. Promoting chocolate on the basis of its percentage of cocoa is an increasingly common marketing tactic, marred only by the fact that beyond about 50% more cocoa means worse chocolate. 99% chocolate, which is actually available, is basically impossible to eat.
The force at work here is snobbery, and the need for something that tastes really bad to base the snobbery on. (Things that actually taste good are of no use to snobs, because anyone can appreciate them.)
The same force is responsible for vast amounts of perfectly good grape juice being allowed to go sour and become wine. Basically, when you get right down to it, wine does not taste very good. But you can't show off how sophisticated you are by appreciating fine grape juice because pretty much everyone likes it. It tastes good. Wine, on the other hand, tastes bad, so if you go around claiming that you appreciate it at some higher level, and can in even tell the difference between minutely different varieties of it, you can appear refined and sophisticated to the naive who have not yet learned to pretend to like it.
Chocolate used to be about tasting good: In this regard milk chocolate is obviously superior. Now all sorts of people turn their nose up at milk chocolate and sniff that they only consume fine dark chocolate. No less than 80% cocoa please. If you ask why they would want to eat that bitter crap suitable only for baking or mixing with milk to make an edible confection, they start talking about fruity aromas and what year the cocoa beans were harvested. Get the picture? They are chocolate snobs who, exactly like wine snobs, actually don't much like the stuff either, but prefer artificial superiority to genuine enjoyment.
It's a sad day when this attitude infects even Hershey's, long the bastion of low-brow but good-tasting milk chocolate. How long will it be before there are whole stored dedicated to inedible dark chocolate sorted by vintage, while those seeking the simple pleasure of good chocolate have to turn to the back isles of the grocery store, next to the grape juice?
Source: Grocery Store
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 8 March, 2008
Text Updated: 8 March, 2008