Wake up and smell the chocolate
I arrive early for my meeting at the Choc on Choc headquarters in the Somerset village of Rode with Flo and Michele. What struck me upon entering Chocolate House was the invitingly warm atmosphere filled with the scent of chocolate, ‘Mmmm…’ I think ‘…chocolate.’ and my stomach growls as if in agreement.
First things first, I am invited to a tour of the factory. I don the attractive hair net and step from the office and into the Maker’s room. Vats of unctuous smooth silky white chocolate gently undulates to my right and to my left are crates of the newly created chocolates. The makers tables are littered with tempting remnants of chocolate.
The chocolate aroma is heightened by about a thousand percent and by now my brain is literally screaming ‘Chocolate!’. My inner Bridget [Jones] is saying ‘I’m a mature, sophisticated woman, don’t disgrace yourself.’. I tightly grip my hands in front of me and we move on to the relative safety of the rest of the factory - Kerr’s Shed, the packing room, shop and back to the office.
Before the meeting I crammed up on a few chocolate credentials:
- The name of the tree that chocolate comes from is Theobroma Cacao which means ‘Food of the Gods’.
- The cacao tree produces beautiful blossoms but only one in 500 will go on to produce a pod.
- White chocolate isn’t technically chocolate - but everyone knows that don’t they?
- The antioxidants in dark chocolate surpasses pecans (14% less) and red wine (25% less). I have been following a healthy diet all along (tick vg).
- 78% of Britons say the ears of chocolate bunnies should be eaten first, 6% think the feet should be eaten first and 5% think the tails should go first. Further study is probably required to verify the accuracy of these figures.
The rest of the interview is conducted while I’m sitting on a slowly declining office chair. To start with I affect a what I hope is a friendly, relaxed but interested pose, but pretty soon I’m spraddle-legged near the floor. This position puts me at eye level with the chocolate samples on the table and the open packet of ‘simply delightful buttons’. I will myself to look only at my new potential employers.
At the end I casually mention the rich luscious fragrance that suffuses the factory and Flo and Michele assure me that they hardly notice it any more. In case you’re wondering, not one tiniest chunk of chocolate passed my lips throughout #torture.