Chocopalypse Now: What a Choccywoccy Brouhaha this is
Left reeling by enough catastrophic events to make Cacofonix apoplectic, this was the final straw. Where will I get my pectin E440, citric acid E330 and soya lecithin E322 now?
Calamity upon calamity! First they send us Donald Trump, then wave after wave of climate catastrophes in every part of the planet, and then, just when we were pausing for breath, Covid-19 roars in. And now this! Our adored Chocolate Log, gone forever.
To be discontinued…
Will it be Kit Kats and Peppermint Crisps next, just before hooded riders come in from the East and the world is laid waste. Are the Four Horsemen of the Chocopalypse (or Horsepersons?) just over that koppie over there, readying to thunder in and wreak vengeance on us all for our manifold wickedness? If #ChocolateLogMustFall, is any chocolate safe? The Four Horsemen of the Chocopalypse (Tex, Crunchie, Mars and Brian) have already sent us plenty by way of wars, famines and plagues. Are we now to receive a sickly-sweet death blow: is what’s left of our enjoyment of life to be beheaded, hung, drawn and quartered, our entrails left for the wolves to feed on? Is there no end to the torment? (Not to mention, am I now to bear the brunt of an avalanche of righteous castigation akin to that which my esteemed colleague Zapiro has faced lately? Solidarity, bru. How very dare I abase the scriptures in the throes of chocoholic satire!)
We know how this happens. It starts with something small, just a crack in the jam jar or a break in the riverbank, and out it all flows. Before you know it there’s a flood, or a rivulet of honey trickling down the leg of the kitchen table. Like a jar of honey or orange marmalade, once the seal is broken, the ants get in, and you have a jam calamity on your hands. Trust me, this happened to me the other day, and you know how pricey a jar of honey is today. A jar of ant-speckled honey as the little critters lose their grip on the sides of the jar and float into the sweet morass is strangely reminiscent of amber. Only not in a good way.
My mum (kitchen tables always remind me of her) was the Chocolate Log one in the family when Pat and I were growing up. Top of my list were Crunchie, Flake, Tex, and Lunch Bar. Now and then, a Bar One. But I loved Chocolate Logs too and it was the exact choccy fix a little boy needed. It’s perfect: the crunch of the wafer, the mellifluous sweet creaminess of the meringue, the coating of chocolate. What more could you want, other than sugar, full cream milk powder, vegetable fats (palm fruit, Shea nut, Illipe seed), wheat flour, glucose syrup, cocoa mass, invert sugar syrup, apple jam (apple, cane sugar, glucose syrup, pectin E440, citric acid E330), cocoa butter, whey powder, dried egg white, emulsifiers (soya lecithin E322, E476), coffee, cocoa powder, cream of tartar (E336), raising agents (E500, yeast), agar agar, flavouring, and calcium sulphate?
I know! I thought that too! There’s apple in a Chocolate Log? 😮
And where else are we to go now for our regular fix of sugar, full cream milk powder, vegetable fats (palm fruit, Shea nut, Illipe seed), wheat flour, glucose syrup, cocoa mass, invert sugar syrup, apple jam (apple, cane sugar, glucose syrup, pectin E440, citric acid E330), cocoa butter, whey powder, dried egg white, emulsifiers (soya lecithin E322, E476), coffee, cocoa powder, cream of tartar (E336), raising agents (E500, yeast), agar agar, flavouring, and calcium sulphate? Huh?
Try stirring all that up in a big pot in your kitchen and see if it comes out looking like a log of chocolate-coated marshmallow sitting on a wafer base. I think not. Chocolate makers are fiendishly cunning people. They know exactly how complicated to make a recipe so that they, and only they, are able to pull it off. If you or I tried making a choccywoccy log out of (refer to paragraph four for full ingredients list) it would come out looking like a Grade R school project.
Now is the Apocalypse of our Discontent. Chocolate bars are the greatest of comforting common denominators. The hands that dip into the box of chocolate goodies on the supermarket or café shelf belong to anyone and everyone. The empathy-starved rich dude from Bantry Bay or Sandton, the gogo who takes three taxis to get home after cleaning his house, you, me, that guy who just lost his job, that woman who dreads going home to her abusive husband. Everyone dips into their purse for a few bucks for a brief respite of sweet chocolate fantasy now and then, or begs or steals one, or just stares at someone eating chocolate until they give in.
We need to find respite from the ills of the world in the solace of the three or four minutes it takes to unwrap the crinkly paper of a bar of chocolate and crunch into its soothing delights. For just a smidgen of your day you’re able to push away the fears and stresses and wallow in mellow chocolate luxury. No matter who we are, how much we earn. Even the humblest “car guard” waving his arms wildly behind you while you’re trying not to reverse into him often gets one of the chocolates you’ve snuck into your carrier bag to eat before you’ve got home and destroyed the evidence before entering the front door. Oops, did I say that aloud.
I used to think that if I could get over the withdrawal of Tempos from the market I could handle anything. Anyway, I could remember its launch in the late Eighties, so knew well that there were earlier times of my life when the Tempo hadn’t yet been invented.
We’ll survive the discontinuation of the Chocolate Log. And we’ll find the reserves to cope with the next wave of chocolate destruction. But I’ll tell you one thing. Let them take my Tex bar if they must. Let the Chocolate Log be a sacrifice on the altar of my greed for sugar. I’ll even put up with the demise of Crunchie if I have to (honestly, my teeth can’t take it any more).
But take my Cadburys Flake and it’s war. And let’s not chocolate-coat that. DM/TGIFood