Thursday, 9 April 2009


It’s that time of year again. You can’t have failed to notice that the entire world seems to be fashioned of chocolate; bunny rabbits, eggs, chickens and other symbols of springtime fertility are everywhere. If, like me, you are possessed of a sweet tooth, then temptation lies literally in every street corner shop. It is difficult to turn off the tap of a constantly watering mouth at the most quiescent of times, but the choice of programmes on television is making it even more difficult.

Channel 4 is currently screening Willie’s Chocolate Revolution, featuring Willie Harcourt-Cooze, an entrepreneur who has successfully launched his own brand of chocolate. If the confectionery has been successful, then Channel 4 executives have a recipe that must have them licking themselves in delight. In addition to the obvious play on names, ie, Willie Wonka, Harcourt-Cooze is faintly reminiscent of Gordon Ramsay and, together with the same missionary zeal as Jamie Oliver, sets out to prove that cacao – the raw ingredient of chocolate - is actually good for you.

To do this, Willie went in cahoots with a white-coated laboratory researcher. Armed with positive – from his point of view – test results, he came away smiling and ready to convert a posse of Cadbury addicts, with a brace of his own products. Willie H-C claims that their favourite sweet is not really chocolate. This is where I part company with WH-C because a chocolate snob I never will be.

I commit the heresy of believing that chocolate is meant to be munched, crunched, melted, slurped and manipulated into whatever disgusting form that the choc-eater actually enjoys. Any toss-pot concerned about the cacao content of his nutty bar is not only missing the point, he deserves to be coated in cocoa solids and flushed down his own loo. With that, I wish you the happiest of Easters, devouring any brand of chocolate that you so please.

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