The End of Chocolate

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Society
September 8th, 2003 • 6:01 pm

It’s hard not to sympathize with the French when it comes to chocolate and new European rules that allow manufacturers to include up to 5 percent of vegetable fat (other than cocoa butter) and still call the end product “chocolate”. Is it the “end of chocolate as a chocolatier knows it“?

It’s quite obviously the now age-old conflict between industrialization and craftsmanship. And the big industrial bullies are winning, as usual. Why? Because they have the indiscriminating masses behind them. Like so many other things, real chocolate will eventually become a niche product because the majority of people/countries can’t tell the difference or are never given the chance to experience the real stuff.

Is it a sad thing? Industrialization and globalization have made a much greater variety of things available to so many categories of people that it’s hard to deny their benefits from a social-democratic point of view. But there’s also no denying that purity/authenticity is slowly becoming a thing of the past.

The pragmatic view is that the purists should enjoy purity while it lasts. There’s nothing that they can do about its disappearance. It’s mathematical. It’s them against the world. It’s a losing battle, unless… it can be established that the attraction of purity/perfection is part of human nature. Is it?

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