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Summer Heatwave, Melting Chocolate & Four Fingers Chocolate Bar

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Large Chocolate Lego Men

Well, you don’t need me to tell you that the British heatwave continues virtually unabated. The newly acquired air conditioning unit is on full blast and paying for itself inside the first month. Our handmade chocolate production continues and there seems to be no let up either in the heat or the demand.

So long as chocolate melts in people’s mouth and not before everyone seems happy. We’re preparing for a three day Festival at beautiful Hever Castle, in Kent,  starting on 31 August and before that there’s a Chocolate themed Hen party in Hailsham, East Sussex. Usually when I say that we’re in demand for Hen Parties – several of my male friends get envious and several of my female friends mention the word ‘stripper’ with what seems like a question mark at the end of the sentence. Either that or they ask what type of moulds we are using!

As for me, I’ve stopped blushing by now. I can assure you (or disappoint some of you) that it’s all perfectly above board and tasteful – in every way. I’m always amazed at the sheer effort and creativity that goes into organising and arranging Hen Parties – whether it’s a relatively modest affair at home or a cottage specially booked for the week-end. The ladies are always keen to learn chocolate truffle techniques and experiment with different flavouring and combinations. Anything with Champagne or Baileys seems to be particularly popular. Sometimes they even say they might share one of their artistic creations with their menfolk!

So, it’s still hot, hot, hot. And out there in the corporate chocolate world, the temperature is definitely rising and the heat is on in the boardrooms and legal chambers. We can get passionate about chocolate – other people just get litigious about it.

Nestle’s 16 year battle to get legal and brand recognition in the EU for it’s four fingered chocolate bar design and wrapping appears to be at an end after yet another reversal in the courts. Media editors had a field day with headlines about the judge not giving them a break. Think Kit Kat and you’ll get it. After so many rulings about copyright and Intellectual Property (IP) only one thing is clear – and that it’s patently not clear.

The law is always about establishing test cases – whether in the world of chocolate or anywhere else. Testing of a different kind is about to get underway at Nutella. Parent company Ferrero have placed job ads for 60 people to taste test their ingredients and products. This includes, of course their chocolate and hazelnut spread.  No experience is required and indeed positively welcome. Successful applicants would need, however, to relocate to Piedmont, Northern Italy – although for many people that would be an added bonus.

It’s the first time Ferrero have recruited outside their company for ‘sensory judges’ as the roles are called. The posts are part time, two days a week and can be combined with other roles – picking olives or drinking red wine perhaps, so long as it’s doesn’t impair your sensory judgement.

All in seriousness, my sensory judgement is that Ferrero will have no difficulty in filling the positions and in the end, consumers are the only judges that count.

Apart from legal ones, that is.

Until next week, keep cool especially when you’re eating chocolate.

Nick

 

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