Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Loss of Good Chocolate – Our Boycott of Hershey

I’ve discussed my exposure to European Kit Kats before and the epiphany that was the difference between Nestle Chocolate and Hershey’s Chocolate. I’ve just returned from a trip to Iceland and part of my trip was the acquisition of several dozen Kit Kats to supply my household for untold time to come. That made reading the article about the halt on Cadberry’s importation into the US that much more Ironic.

Would you confuse a York Peppermint Patty with a Yorkie Bar which is a big old rectangular chocolate bar without a bit of mint in it? If you said no, you are incorrect because the general public is to stupid to tell a dark chocolate covered mint from a regular chocolate bar if they share letters, or so it seems from the lawsuit filed that the name was to close to Hershey’s registered trade. Never mind that people might be color blind. The orange and brown will cause people looking for a circular peanut butter cup to accidentally buy a toffee bar. Perhaps they can sue anyone that molds things into slender rectangles such as a metal ingot? People are obviously to stupid to know that a bar of metal is not a bar of chocolate and may accidentally consume one and have a poor Hershey experience.

I am a person who would have told you, not that long ago, that I loathed Milk Chocolate. I avoided the stuff like the plague and stuck to Dark Chocolate. It has only been recently that I’ve learned I don’t actually dislike milk chocolate. I dislike Hershey milk chocolate. It just happens that they dominate the market place to the extent that other chocolate manufactures mimic their recipe because that is what people feel chocolate should taste like.

Sigh.

It is believed that the secret of Hershey’s chocolate is Butyric Acid. This acid is used as a preservative. While the actual recipe is a trade secret, the taste of sour milk, which the wikipedia article speaks of in a kinder way by calling ti ‘tangy’ is a side effect of adding Butyric Avid to preserve milk. Adding milk was a way to cut the chocolate and stretch it in the first place. Hershey did revolutionize the consumption and accessibility of chocolate.

It still tastes bad. I assumed that I just liked dark chocolate. In fact, I like milk chocolate fine. Just free of that horrible sour taste as if the milk used is curdled. That means most American chocolates, geared after the taste Hershey has taught the nation is the taste of chocolate, have little to no appeal. It also leaves room for the rise of gourmet chocolate.

At least my husband’s beloved Aero bars are safe. They started selling them in my local grocery store. I suggested that the volume of chocolate was reduced for air bubbles. That seems to be a sacrilegious statement and I was chastised soundly about their delicious quality and the importance of those big, chocolateless holes.

Book: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

I purchased, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain today from Amazon.com. The kindle edition is 2.99 USD.

I purchased it because of a quote from imgur. The quote, made into an image was:

“Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”

Rarely do I so so much of myself laid out. As someone prone to self examination, I try to be very honest with myself. I feel that is the only way that I will become a better person. That it is the only way that I will overcome my numerous flaws and all of the ugly bits that make up my personality. I am an introvert. I have self esteem problems. I also have a serious issue with impostor syndrome in all aspects of my life. Like all amateur psychologists, I have spent time examining myself. Although, I’ve had help from professionals. Part of being diagnosed as dyslexic in the late eighties, when people were figuring out that not all children who struggled were lazy, was therapy. The side effect is that I got to watch myself charted and labeled as I grew up.

I managed not to fit into many of the labels. Some things are hard coded and some we can learn to work with. I should be illiterate for instance but I read and right with reasonable ability. On the same line, I didn’t let my introversion hold me back. Or, I should say that I did not let it keep me down. It often holds me back. I could not make phone calls without prior scheduling well into my early twenties. I still cannot go over peoples homes unannounced. I have a reasonable level of social anxiety but I can only indulge in that when I am at home. At work I must be bold and confident and assured of myself.

But, its all a lie. I have a work self and a personal self. The two have merged as I’ve aged. I can’t spend my time being confident and in control of situations, successfully, without some of that creeping over. But at the end of the day I want to go home and curl up in silence away from people and talking and social situations. I don’t want drama in my personal life. I don’t want to go out on my days off. I want to lay back and have everything be still and quiet.

And in the simple paragraph quoted above, I saw more aspects of myself then ever. I even admitted that I had come to dislike conflict. I used to jump on it and bite it. But that was only a way for me to fight back during a childhood where I was bullied and ostracized. Many of my coworkers relish aggression and conflict. They just make me tired. I can deal with them when I must but I do not understand the urge to seek them. I am not bored when it is quiet and still. I do not get into things just to keep myself entertained. I can go an entire work shift in complete and utter stillness without speaking to another person.

I am always the one who sits a few seats away from everyone else. Even people whom I have known for almost a decade at my job. I am always apart. I don’t fit in at work. I never have. I’ve learned to almost fit in but at the end of the day I have no close friends and I’m okay with that. I don’t want to go out after work. I don’t want to go to the parties. I don’t even want to go to lunch with the rest of my coworkers. I want to go to work, do my job, and go home. It causes some issues. I’ll never be promoted. I’ll never climb the ladder. But I’m okay with that. My job pays my bills and my dreams in life have nothing to do with where my paycheck comes from. I’d like the combine the two one day and I’ve been working towards the goal but it is a slow climb but one I hope to some day accomplish.

I suck at small talk. I’m ready to dive into and dissect a topic for hours. It seems to scare people away. My mother always told me that I talked to much as a child. It was because she was my only friend. But, she worked full time as a nurse and she worked the midnight shift. Having a chattering child when she got home was to much so she told me to hush. And so I learned to be quiet until I became embarrassed to speak. Now, I speak well when I need to but I dislike speaking. It seems that I spiral out of control and I’m off discussing Greek mythology when the other person just wanted to say that it was nice to see the sun come up on a pretty day. I also seem to be a passionate speaker and people are backing away from me wide eyed. It is easier to be quiet and just not have a discussion at all.

Of late, I started looking into some stuff to deal with my self confidence issues. Reading something that does not call introverts sick and unnatural is rather pleasant. I’m a bit behind the times when it comes to reading. I don’t often read great works and deep things about research. I am soaked in reality every single day during the twelve hours of my job. I enjoy the relaxation from fiction and the adventures of thought. However, the last few months have been very reflective for me.  I have to get out of the rut of my life. It is not a terrible rut and I do not wish to throw away my entire life because of it but I need to get out of my job and I need to ground and focus myself to do so. The only way out will be through my own ability. I have no escape.

This is book one of three. There is one about leadership and one about success. I am wary of the leadership one. I don’t want to be a leader. But who knows, it might be useful to help em through all of my fears and worries about starting a corporation in Eve. So far it has been one of the most interesting things I have ever read. Mostly because I feel like I am talking to myself about myself but it is not me saying it. I’ve never been a big believer in telling yourself things over and over. I don’t believe in lying to myself until I believe my own lies. I’m also to self critical to take what I say but so far.

I think this will prove interesting. Its already been worth the 3 bucks I dropped on the e-book.