Chocolate, Oh Chocolate…How Do I Love Thee! So much so that you would pay $1.5 million dollars for a bejeweled box of La Forest gourmet chocolates. This box containing some unique diamond and precious stone encrusted necklace, ring, earrings or bracelet bobbles. Le Chocolate Box jewelry promotion by Simon Jewelers. Was a one-time offering fetching $1.5 million dollars, the most ever for a box of gourmet chocolates.
If you find Le Chocolate Box a bit pricey, then how about a gold encrusted, frozen haute chocolate dessert?
How much, you say? Try $25,000.
Setting a Guiness Book Record as the most expensive dessert in the process. This Serendipity 3 promotion consisted of a 28-cocoa blend with five ounces of edible 23-karat gold, served in a gold goblet lined with white diamonds.
It’s no longer on the menu, however, NYC’s Serendipity does offer the Golden Opulence Sundae at $1000 a serving.
And, of course, Serendipity still offers its classic frozen hot chocolate @ $6.50.
Well, if a sundae or hot chocolate doesn’t strike your fancy, how about just a plain old Cadbury chocolate bar?
Made with premium Madagascan cocoa beans and wrapped in edible gold leaf. The promotional bar was auctioned off in 1995 but the bidder never claimed his/her prize.
So the actual gold bar is now on display in the Cadbury Museum in Birmingham, England.
You can purchase mini replicas today – a 6pk of Wispa Gold Bars via Amazon for $11.90.
For chocolate lovers, Chef Katrina Markoff of the Chicago based chocolate shop, Vosges Haut Chocolat, offers a unique Valentine luxury gift of unique chocolate truffles and Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée @ $325.
As you drool and marvel over the diversity and wonderfulness of chocolate today. Keep in mind that its discovery, evolution, and ascendancy began 4000 years ago with the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica, the Olmecs, the Mayans, and the Aztecs.
The first cacao trees were discovered in Mesoamerica, what’s known as Mexico today.
The indigenous people used the bean from the cacao tree for all types of activities including ceremonial rituals. As well as beverages for medicinal as well as aphrodisiac purposes.
The Spanish conquistador, Hernan Cortés, after a typical plundering visit to Mexico, introduced Spain to the cacao bean.
And the world began its love affair with chocolate.
The love affair did venture into the dark side of production. With very active ties to the slave trade and child labor.
The end of the slave trade and climate conditions, however, ironically forced production of the cocoa bean to Africa. Although vestiges of its dark side still exists.
Today, the West African countries of the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria are the largest producers of the cocoa bean.
The cycle of life – indigenous people discovered chocolate 4000 years ago and, in 2020. Third world countries are maintaining its preeminence among foodies and lay folk alike.
A perfect example of how an appreciation of diversity, inclusion, and equity can benefit consumption of the world’s most beloved confection.