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Welcome to Wiser Now’s weekly email blast which reflects our eclectic interests and, we hope, yours. This week, I’m delighted to focus on Celebration of Chocolate Month, not only because it’s my favorite food group, but because February also offers Chocolate Kiss Day (9th), Peppermint Pattie Day (11th), Cream-Filled Chocolates Day (14th), and Chocolate Soufflé Day (28th) to say nothing of Valentine’s Day when everyone deserves chocolates of their choice. (As we do every day.)

We hope you are finding these offerings fun and/or useful. We welcome your feedback. (Kathy@WiserNow.com) And if you haven’t yet pressed the subscribe button so this newsletter doesn’t go to spam, please do so now.

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The Quote

"When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile." ~ Regina Brett

 

The Quirky Observation

There is virtually no food that someone has not tried to enhance with a melted chocolate covering. Some have proven more popular than others. State fairs regularly offer chocolate-covered bacon, corn dogs, and Jalapeno peppers (hence our headline) and here are just a few others uncovered in my research:

  • Veggies: onions, pickles, chickpeas, mushrooms, carrots, edamame (and peppers, as noted)
  • Meat (in addition to bacon and corndogs) beef jerky, Slim Jims
  • Creatures: squid, scorpions, crickets
  • Miscellaneous: seaweed

 

The Quirky Facts

Museums: There are at least a dozen chocolate museums around the world, many of which have unique displays. At Germany’s Cologne museum, also known as the Imhoff-Stollwerck Museum is a chocolate fountain where museum staff dip waffles into the hot liquid for salivating guests. The Pannys Amazing World of Chocolate on Phillip Island in Victoria, Canada has a chocolate rendition of Michelangelo’s statue of David and an entire chocolate town. The Musee les Secrets du Chocolat in Geispolsheim, France sells several unusual chocolate foods, including chocolate beer, pasta and vinegar.
Lodging: There is an English Chocolate Boutique Hotel in Bournemouth’s fashionable Soho quarter, where guests are treated not only to chocolate-themed rooms, but have a wide choice of chocolate delights that include chocolate fountains, chocolate wine, and chocolate workshops.
Fashion: The Salon du Chocolat bills itself as the world's "largest event dedicated to chocolate and cocoa."  In 2017 the annual convention kicked off in Paris with a unique fashion show, featuring models wearing stunning creations made partially of chocolate.


The Quiz

Many candies first gained their popularity – and sometimes even their inspiration – by being distributed to soldiers in war zones. Hershey’s chocolate bars and M&Ms are just two examples. The following is an excerpt from a longer quiz I wrote several years ago. Contact me at Kathy@WiserNow.com if you’d like the whole delicious version.

How did the candy get its name? A true or false quiz
 
1. Hershey’s Kisses were introduced as a bite-size chocolate in 1907, and have been popular now for more than 100 years. They were so named because if you bite into them curly top-side first, your lips around the bottom of it form a kiss.
True ___                False ___
 
2. M&Ms had their beginnings when Forest Mars, Sr., an heir to the candy company founded by his father, saw soldiers eating hard-shelled chocolates during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. He came home and developed and patented his version, naming them M&Ms after his children, Marvin and Mary.
True ___                False ___

3. 3 Musketeers, another candy bar from the Mars Company that originated in the 1930s, gained its name for the simple reason that the novel by Alexandre Dumas was one of Mr. Mars favorite books.
True ___                False ___
 
4. Another Mars bar, Snickers, is named after a favorite family race horse, not as sometimes thought, because you laugh or snicker when you taste them.
True ___                False ___

5. The Oh Henry! candy bar was perhaps named after a boy named Henry who hung around the Williamson Company flirting with the female candy makers. Taking advantage of his interest, they would shout "Oh Henry!", whenever they needed him.
True ___                False ___

6. James Welch, the creator of Junior Mints, meant his candy to be a wordplay on the popular Broadway play of the early 1940s, “Junior Miss.”
True ___                False ___

Answers and explanations are at the end of this document.

The Shameless Request

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The Question

What’s your chocolate personality?
There are quite a few quizzes willing to tell you. I tried the BuzzFeed Chocolate Bar Personality Quiz which was fast and easy, but I was completely unfamiliar with the candy bar supposedly most suited to me. I next tried Brainfall's "What Type of Chocolate are You?" and the result pleased me even though I didn’t think it was accurate. It said I was most like peppermint bark (which I’ve never tried) with this description, “You're a breath of fresh air to everyone who meets you! You have a unique personality and a talent for becoming the life of any party.” So I recommend it because the answer is likely to be complimentary. Google “chocolate personality quiz” and you’ll find many more.

The Kiosk of Resources


A Chocolate Joke for the Road

My wife can't cook at all. She made chocolate mousse.
An antler got stuck in my throat.
~ Rodney Dangerfield


Answers to Quiz:

  1. False. Legend says the name referred to the sound the machine made when extruding the chocolate during the manufacturing process. To see a video of how Hershey’s kisses are made click here.
  2. Partially false. The name M&Ms comes from the surnames of the company’s founders: Forrest Mars and William F.R. Murrie.
  3. False. 3 Musketeers were originally three different pieces of candy: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry
  4. True
  1. True
  1. True (Not on the beauty contest which arrived years later.)
Our multiple goals are to amuse and inspire you, to share what we and people whom we admire are doing, to stimulate your curiosity and spur you to action. We hope you enjoyed this offering. You can access previous issues here. We welcome your feedback. (Kathy@WiserNow.com)
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