Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chocolate Promises

Back then, in my days as a fresh postdoc who just moved to the USA, Dove turned out to be the only readily available and eatable chocolate option. So I got used to the Dove 'Promises': little messages in the wrappers. They would read “Be true to yourself,” “Live your dreams,” or “Little things can make big differences.” (You find some collected on this website.) Goes well with a glass of red wine.

Last year Hershey's finally discovered chocolate. (Yes, capitalism works - sometimes.) They call it Hershey's Bliss, it seems indeed to contain cacao, and is strikingly similar to Dove - minus the messages (some people might appreciate that). Since Hershey is omnipresent and I dislike monopolies, these days I sometimes buy Dove chocolate for nostalgic reasons. However, the promises I find now read “Get a manicure,” “Wear high heels,” or “Use a good hand moisturizer.” The latter in particular makes one wonder about the relation of Dove to Dove. We are one step away from “Bleach your teeth,” “Call your mother," or “File in the tax-return.”

This made me wonder what message I'd want in the wrappers were I to distribute chocolate among my colleagues? “Read your notes upside down,” “Smile at your postdoc,” or “Just tell him what you really think.” Leave your suggestions in the comments.

Another thing I had to learn from these wrappers is that the French translation of “Read a trash novel” is supposedly “Perdez votre temps.” Which I think severely underestimates the ego-boost one gets from reading a really bad novel that got published. Anyway, one of the nicer messages was “Write a real letter, not just an email.” Here is the result, tentatively titled “Faster than the speed of light”:


  1. It is a really good idea to keep handy a stash of chocolate - one never knows when one will encounter a dementor. If you have access to a Trader Joe's though, I recommend the dark chocolate french truffles.

  2. No Trader's Joe here :-( Your mentioning of the dementors however reminds me this would make for a good message:

    "Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can' t see where it keeps its brain."

  3. I'm scared of trying the Hershey's Bliss. Is it really not disgusting? Hershey's is probably the only "chocolate" manufacturer whose products I can easily resist. Blegh.

  4. Hi Eva,

    It doesn't exactly compete with Dagoba, but Hershey's Bliss is nowhere near the usual Hershey's crap. (I have often wondered whether they actually do use cacao or whether it's just food color, fat and sugar.) Give it a try and if you think it's really disgusting, come back and complain :-) Best,


  5. Hey, I have to defend Hershey's - I actually like them! I mean, the famous "kisses" don't taste like chocolate, it's kind of a peanut butter condensate - but that's fine with me ;-)

    Cheers, Stefan

  6. Other message tries:

    "Don't let them take away your chocolate and violate your human rights"

    " nation...with liberty and chocolate for all."

  7. I like your faster-than-the-speed-of-light Cerenkov radiation letter :) Now I just need to get someone to write me one.

  8. Oops, Chitragupta is me, Arun.

  9. I like your artwork. And I've never tried the Dove or the Bliss chocolate. I guess I should. :-)

  10. Chocolate outside its organoleptic pleasures can be duplicated with a hug (phenethylamine) and a toke (arachidonoylethanolamide, anandamide). Good hugs are hard to find.

  11. Ghirardelli is okay, but I don't really like its texture.


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