August 24th, 2006

All the chocolate news that's fit to post

When I was living in Germany, I remember trying to make a joke about being a chocaholic. The woman at the store stared stonily at me. I still don't know if they don't have the same word, she had no sense of humor, or she didn't like me because I was a foreigner. I do know that it was a "learning experience" to live someplace where I thought I knew how to speak the language, but didn't. Everyone there spoke a dialect. It gave me a lot more sympathy for non-native English speakers. Being called a "god-damn foreigner" (somehow I always understood that phrase) was both humbling and eye-opening. In America we take our superiority for granted.

Chocolate tidbits:

Chocolate Day
fieldmuseum.org/Chocolate/index.html
In honor of Roald Dahl's [Full disclosure: it was thanks to Roald Dahl, that I first got published at age 12] birthday and his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, September 13th has been declared Chocolate Day. And one great way to celebrate (besides eating some chocolate) is to learn a bit more about what chocolate is, where it comes from, and how it's made. This online exhibit is chock-full of sweet facts, as well as lots of lesson ideas and activities for teachers under the "Educators' Resources" link nd fun quizzes/puzzles for kids under "All about Chocolate" and "Just for Kids." On the home page, play around with the three interactive activities.

Man Trapped Waist - Deep in Chocolate
KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) -- It might sound like a chocoholic's dream, but stepping into a vat of viscous chocolate became a two-hour nightmare for a 21-year-old man Friday morning. Darmin Garcia, an employee of a company that supplies chocolate ingredients, said he was pushing the chocolate down into the vat at Debelis Corp. because it was stuck. But it became loose and he slid into the hopper.

'"It was in my hair, in my ears, my mouth, everywhere,'" said Garcia, who has worked at the company for two years. ''I felt like I weighed 900 pounds. I couldn't move.''

The chocolate was 110 degrees, hotter than a hot tub, said Capt. Greg Sinnen of the Kenosha Fire Department.

Co-workers, police and firefighters tried to free the man but couldn't get him loose until the chocolate was thinned out with cocoa butter.
''It was pretty thick. It was virtually like quicksand,'' said police Capt. Randy Berner.

Garcia was treated for minor injuries and released.

After more than two hours in the chocolate, does he still have a taste for it?

''Not so much anymore,'' Garcia said. [The horror!]




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