Valentine’s Consumerist Seduction (Part One in a Series)


Riiiiiiiiight.

So, I find myself alert (two cups of coffee), fully dressed (notable, when working from home), and sitting at the kitchen table (for some reason, we have sun today, so the cold/natural light balance is worth it), and I’m ready to work.

The folks I’m ready to work for are still running late sending the necessary documents through email.

Of course, my next step is to go to Chow.com.

And here we are…

Offbeat Chocolate Treats for Valentine’s Day

Now, I’m not reposting the entry for you. If you are appropriately intrigued, click the link and read it on Chow’s site. However, I will point out the tidbits that I found interesting…(my blog. I’m queen. Deal with it.)

Yes, I like it because it’s vegan. I’m nostalgic like that. But I’ve also found that some vegan chocolates are absolutely superior, as chocolate, to most milk chocolates (Speak not of white chocolate. It is heresy.) In addition, this appeals to my wanna-be elitist, yuppie sensibilities. Bittersweet with Sea Salt. Mayan Chile. Olive oil and Sea Salt. Sure, it’s been done…but it’s good, and I’m interested whenever I see someone doing it.

All about aesthetics. Maybe the chocolate is awesome, but I honestly don’t care. The cover art is groovy. I want to plan to but then never actually reuse the  “perfectly square box [that] closes with a smart magnetic click”. Here’s what TCHO says about themselves:

Holidays are about sharing unique experiences with loved ones. So we’re proud to launch TCHO’s “Artist Series” highlighting the work of different artists in our limited editions of our luxury gift collections. We begin the series with the Love Collection by Max Kisman, an award-winning Dutch graphic artist and designer. His iconic, bold designs are modern, provocative, and sexy—lending a fun new accent to our chocolate.

Sounds fun, right?

Another blatantly aesthetic choice.

The image on top of each chocolate is a design that was originally inspired by classic Byzantine tiles. The packaging, a simple cardboard box, grew from the idea of the chocolates as actual tiles. Fortuitously, the box selected holds 49 pieces of the chocolate, the result of squaring a prime number, 7. It seemed fitting, as the collaboration is the result of the combined efforts and imagination of two unique, and uniquely Angeleno, companies. Unlike any other gift on the market, the commune chocolates are bound to be a hit both with those who appreciate interesting design, and those who love dark chocolate.

Yeah. I was hooked when they mentioned the tiles. I have a ‘thing’ for the tiles found all over Portugal. The ugly, the beautiful, the elaborate, the simple, the psychedelic, the groovy, the classic… For me, they are art. I dig that someone else digs tile art enough to paint it onto chocolate. Their designs are pretty simple geometrics, but I love the idea.

This is great niche marketing. The premise of the company strikes a chord with my Seattle-lovin’ tendencies (P-patches, how I love you). Read this description:

New this year, our Might Mint Urban Garden Chocolate Bar highlights mint from four urban gardens in Philadelphia and Washington, DC. The fresh mint leaves are steeped directly into the chocolate for an amazingly refreshing flavor that tastes just like mint picked from your Grandmother’s garden. 5% of the sale price goes directly back to the gardens to support the educational programs the gardens provide to inner city youth. 3 oz. (Planter not included.)

Don’t you feel warm and fuzzy about yourself? F#ck, I do, and I’m just thinking about how I want this bar. (I’m actually not being facetious. I eat this stuff up. I’m okay with that. I’m human.)

If you aren’t American, this probably won’t do much for you. If you are, you’ll think the concept is cool. We all (the non-peanut allergy kids, anyway) ate innumerable peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in our youth. Australians and Brits have their Vegemite and Marmite, and we have PBJ. We probably love Reese’s Peanut Butter cups a whole lot more than you (you if you aren’t American. If you are, you’re on board. I know it.), too. Peanut butter and chocolate are awesome together. PBJ and Chocolate? Yes. Yes, please.

In addition, this guy is from Missouri! I grew up on the Mississippi river, yo. We’re peeps. Midwesterners, unite!

Unfortunately, I must end this post. I’m making myself hungry, and I’m hungry for all the wrong things. ( I keep hoping I’ll wake up in the morning, only to find that a clever, overzealous plastic surgeon has snuck into my house and liposuctioned my extra belly flab while I slept. It hasn’t happened yet.)

Do check out the Chow.com article. Chow is always a good time. And check out the links above. If you are in the US, I recommend taking advantage of online shopping. I’m not going to try it from Portugal, though I’m sure some of these folks could manage it.

Needless to say, as more bright shiny things come to my attention, I’ll be adding them (with commentary) to this hard-nosed and very serious pre-V-day series.

🙂

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