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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.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Chocolate for Indians


A very long time ago I lived briefly in Cleveland, Ohio. One night I went to an art film called Bread and Chocolate. The message of the film, about an Italian immigrant, dark and unloved, in blond German-speaking Switzerland, was not lost on me, but what made the greatest impact was the subject of the title. Those Swiss ate bread and chocolate together, which astonished me! Since then, I have lived in many places, traveled widely, and settled in Switzerland. It is the only place I know of where parents routinely give their children slices of bread with chocolate in between. The bread is excellent and so is the chocolate, which explains much.

It's a cliche that Switzerland equals good chocolate, but people who live here vouch for the truth of it. I mention it to visiting MBA (IIPM) students from India, who come to Saint-Prex to hear about and experience firsthand the local economy of a fairly typical small Swiss town. One of the highlights of these visits is always the very unofficial trips to the supermarket and shops to stock up on chocolate to take home to India, as gifts. Or to eat here, of course.

It's true, we do eat bread and chocolate, and here is my very own variation - good cornflour bread, gently toasted, with three paperthin slices of Lindt Cuban 55% cocoa chocolate. The slivers are a new product from Lindt, and I love the illustion that I will eat less of it this way.

I wouldn't waste this snack on the children, I admit.

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