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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

Tulips 2006 for Gran ellengwallace's Tulips 2006 for Gran photoset

Thursday, November 10, 2005

critique this chocolate!

The best chocolate in the world, eaten in the best way possible?

A 65% dark chocolate, at room temperature, taken in a reasonable amount, with a cup of good coffee made with excellent cream (or frothy milk). Best taken in good company, with pleasant conversation. This was the answer, given to my question, by the head "nose" at the Lindt Chocolate factory in Switzerland, when I pulled him aside during a tour with a group of journalists a year ago. He was a kindly man, with a happy face and rosy cheeks, so I made a note to try this sometime. I've drunk foamy creamy coffees, called "renverse" with an accent on the final e, which means upside down. I've eaten good Lindt dark chocolate, and had it with fine French armagnac, which I don't think the nose would approved - on second thought, he did not seem the disapproving type.

But I had not found time to put the perfect combination together. This week, looking for Swiss flags to photograph, I headed for the supermarket chocolate section. This, in Switzerland, is always large. To my surprise, for I don't read their press releases regularly, Lindt has a new line of chocolate bars, beautifully wrapped and named after places that make the November heart long to travel closer to the sun. Cuba is the name of one new bar, Madagascar another. I opted for the 65% Madagascar, bought fresh cream and headed home. Stern warnings were given to family members that this chocolate was not to be touched until it had been photographed. Stray walnuts and a glass of Tia Maria begged to be invited to the feast, on the elmwood table.

Shades of brown, touches of silver and - here I must apologize that the Internet is adding audio and video but hasn't yet mastered smell files - a hint or "soupcon" of vanilla.

Coffee made, cream foamed, camera out. This deserves the best of photos. Much to the chagrin of the waiting tasters, it turns out to be difficult to photograph all these things and get it right. This is why people like Lindt use professional photographers, sigh. Here is one skilled but nevertheless amateur shooting a piece of chocolate. Please vote for your favorite!

number 1

Hmm, the chocolate is a bit flat in color, not shiny enough, while the shiny cup shows spilled milk on the saucer that I didn't notice before shooting. Where is the photo props assistant?

number 2

The shadow at the back is distracting. Let's forget the flash.

number 3

Not bad as composition goes, but it will never sell chocolate. The fern on the right and the chair on the left are arty, say I, but they could be seen as a mistake, too.

number 4

Getting closer! The coffee won't stay hot forever, and it did not, frankly, add much to the picture. But now the chocolate is beginning to look a little tired and frayed around the edges.

number 5

I think we've got it! Wouldn't you like a bite of this?

Now we know why professional photographers can still find jobs. And professional noses. The chocolate was excellent, the conversation a bit trying ("Why did that take so long!") and the coffee was drunk before the chocolate was tried. Despite the flawed tasting session Madagascar appears to have a bright future ahead of it.

Send your vote in a comment!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

love it!

3:35 AM  

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