Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Choccy 2

Under further pressure from that Jerky motherfucker to fucking update my shit (fucker), I present to you my latest offering - a sequel to Choccy, imaginitively entitled Choccy 2.

Welcome, kinder, to another exclusive selection of smarmy observations coated in rich milk chocolate, with a luxurious filling of sarcasm.

WARNING: May be unsuitable for those with an allergy to nuts or being bored.

Flake has always been marketed for its... well, flakiness. It begins to wilt and crumble away to nothing when you open the wrapper. It’s the nine-stone weakling that gets beaten up for its lunch money by the Snickers bars. Apparently we are meant to think this is a good thing, but why anyone actually does is quite beyond me - the fact that it disintegrates as soon as you open the wrapper isn't the strongest of selling points. After all, you wouldn't buy a new plasma screen television if its advert made a big deal out of the fact that it explodes the first time you plug it in, blowing a hole in your wall and crippling you for life. Despite its pointlessly infuriating design, Flake's continued presence in the nation's newsagents indicates somebody's buying it. I don't know who - perhaps people who have a fetish for disappointment - but it certainly isn't me. Whenever I have been unlucky enough to eat one of these things, I've only managed to get about 10% of the chocolate into my digestive system, the other 90% ending up as as a chalky brown sediment all over my trousers, making it appear that the aforementioned digestive system had gone very wrong indeed. Maybe this would be worth it if Flake was sufficiently scrummy as to offset its structural integrity shortcomings, but it isn't. The flavour is utterly standard. If you really like the flavour but hate the flakiness, just buy a Twirl instead. Identical flavour, you get two separate bars, and it doesn't melt into free-floating molecules if you breathe on it. Unless you are a dragon.

As synonymous with the USA as apple pie, Independence Day, cheerleaders or dealing in moral absolutes, Hershey is without doubt the definitive American chocolate (or "candy" as our transatlantic cousins wrongly call it). Hersheys are not widely available here in England, and as such certain upscale sweet shops charge premium rates for imported ones. In some outlets you can expect to pay up to £1 for a single Hershey. Whether they are worth the inflated price depends on which version you buy, for there are several and naturally you'll like some more than others. Make your purchase wisely. To my mind, the best variety is the one which contains ground-up bits of chocolate chip cookies. It's chocolate, with more chocolate in it. Where else could such a simple yet sublime confectionery concept spring but from the Land of the Free? God Bless America.

Hip, low calorie alt-chocolate bars come in many differing shapes and sizes, but all are united by these three characteristics:
1 - Holland & Barrett is the only shop in the entire world that will sell them.
2 - They are eaten exclusively by new-agey upper middle class dullards who feel a sense of vague guilt when they eat real chocolate and are inclined to fill their houses with as many health food products, dream catchers, I Ching mirrors and sustainable-source pine furnishings as they can get their hands on, because that's what their horoscope told them to do.
3 - They all taste like plywood.

An ordinary KitKat finger, afflicted with the terrible curse of gigantism. Shunned by the normal KitKats for their freakish appearance, these unfortunate chocolates banded together and formed their own sub-sect of KitKat society, and thus the Chunky was born. Though it is big, blocky and satisfying to eat, The Chunky bar probably contains exactly the same amount of chocolate and biscuit as the traditional four-finger type, but it feels more filling due to the fact that it's chunky. Nestlé seem to specialise in using this kind of subtle manipulation of your perceptions in order to make you feel like you haven't wasted your money on a bar that isn't actually any bigger than the cheaper variant. If the company were as smart as wot I is, they would have long ago realised the awesome market potential of a four-finger KitKat made to Chunky scale. I would say the odds of this actually happening at some point are pretty good, but will probably be restricted to one of the "limited edition" releases they're so fond of these days. What's the point of limited edition sweets? Are you going to stick them in the fridge for twenty years and wait for them to appreciate in value? Decades from now, will Sotheby's play frequent host to auctions of antique limited-run chocolates? Will their new owners, having just shelled out fifty thousand space credits on the finely-aged goodies, decadently scoff the lot at illicit high-class subterranean orgies? Of course not. They're past the sell-by date already.

Lindor are, effectively, Malteasers without the biscuit. Little balls of Belgian chocolate individually wrapped with love and care by specially selected Belgians, stuck in a box, and sold to you for a stupidly high price, which is justified by the fact it's Belgian and therefore sophisticated and posh, making it popular with bourgeois people who are throwing a party and don't want to go down the all-to-familiar Ferrero Rocher road, because that road leads to some comedian doing the "you are spoiling us" speech, which means everyone is obliged to be politely amused whilst temporarily ignoring the fact that cretins have been doing that at parties for twenty years. Lindor is unassailably delicious, but we must work for our choccy bliss - ergo you must unwrap each and every one before we eat it, unless you enjoy the taste of cellophane. Having to do this over and over again wears away at the sanity, in the same way that individually polishing every piece of shingle on Brighton Beach would. After about ten or so balls, you start to get the feeling that you are in fact being subjected to an eerie Pavlovian "effort = reward" experiment, by a group of men in white coats standing behind a two-way mirror and taking notes on your behaviour. Be aware of these factors before comitting yourself to a Lindor experience, and decide whether it’s worth the effort to get at that fine chocolate, or if it’s all just a load of balls.

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