My bolg is usually about serious issues like saving the world, creating better supercomputers, getting car to go 250 MPG, creating a workable Earthark for humanity, solving hoaxes which have baffled humanity for centuries and raising people from the dead. Stuff like that. I hope to continue with that quest but today something so extraordinary happened to me that it takes precedence over those infinitely more serious issues. I had what can only be called a Chocolate Raptus ! ! !
My long time friend, now a professional chocolatier, Suzy Fischer, gave me some of her latest chocolate candy experiments to sample. It was great and I recognized at once that it was beyond the quality of chocolate I was accustomed to eating from Trader Joe’s or See’s Candy store or any other commercial candy. However, I was in a coffee shop setting and there were lots of distractions.
I had just come from a wonderful scholarly presentation by Michael Buckland which he had concluded with a fifteen minute silent promotional movie created in 1928 by Zeiss Ikon entitled Der Sportarzt (The Sports-doctor). The movie was officially lost until last month when a copy was found and Dr. Buckland was so interested he immediately flew to Germany to see it—it was that special. I and five others were the first to ever see this movie screened in America and possibly anywhere for eighty years. This was made back in the era of great German movie productions and that style and quality shows even in this somewhat amateurish production.
But that wasn’t all that had happened in this fabulous hour—I gave a very short talk about the Drake Plate and gave Dr. Buckland a copy showing several of Conan Doyle’s signature clues right on the plate. I had brought this into the seminar because a week ago I embarrassed myself arguing with the Director of the new Bancroft Library about the Drake Plate and felt it necessary to show some scholars at least part of what I was talking about. Those two things made that afternoon memorable, at least for me but then I had Suzie’s Chocolate Raptus and it made these other very exciting things go pale, bland and tasteless by comparison. All comparisons are odious said Shakespeare and others but it is especially so in this case because nothing can be compared favorably to this Chocolate Raptus.
After sipping coffee and chatting about other things for a while our little conference at the Cafe Mediterraneum returned to Suzie’s chocolate which she had brought for our delectation. This time I was a little more mentally prepared and rather than diving into another teaspoon (that is plenty) of her chocolates I insisted that she give me something for comparison. Thus, she brought out several of the high-end chocolate samples which she just happened to have along for her own use. These are those truffle-like things that only rich people get to have—and then only when they are very, very good. It is easy to slip something inferior into the mix after a few drinks. Anyway, I tried several tiny pieces, 1/4 teaspoon or so, of these other chocolates and quite frankly they were better than anything I ever had from Trader Joe’s although some See’s specials would have compared favorably. So that was my standard and on a 10 point scale I would have to give some of See’s efforts a 10—they were that good. But then I had some Chocolate Raptus and it was so much more tasty in so many more dimensions that it was clearly necessary to re-calibrate the 10 point scale. This was so much better that to be fair the other high end chocolates I had just tasted would have to be rated an 8. It wasn’t just a little bit better that you could argue about for a while, it was a lot better. Clearly it was at least 2 points better.
Suzie said she had applied for a patent to her process for making this delicacy and that it is patent pending. I didn’t know you could patent a food but clearly this a new and useful product which is the soul of a patent so I hope she can patent it. Many people think of patents as impeding progress but that is utterly wrong-headed because the patent system encourages people to make the effort to find new and improved things and then make public how they did it so that other people can make further improvements. If there were no patent system then people would be forced to keep secret how they made their improvements and if no one knew how something was done they couldn’t improve upon it. Believe me, you want her to reveal her secret on how to make this Chocolate Raptus. You should hope she reveals how it’s done or if you are so inclined you should pray. I am glad this came about before the Biblical Rapture with which my name for it is associated.
There is a food show in Chicago this May where her chocolate will be featured and on display right across the aisle from Hershey. If you live anywhere near this show go there and walk across the aisle to Pastry Chef Suzy. You will be astonished at just how good chocolate candy can taste.