High culture vs low culture: it’ s up to you

Chocolate and art: an unusual portrait

The chocolate art of Tokyo chocolatier Madame Setsuko Co. regularly appears at international chocolate salons in Tokyo, Paris, and New York. At many salons they have presented chocolate portraits of the Mona Lisa. Left photo shows president Setsuko Hara presenting one in bas relief for the 2006 Tokyo salon.                Below is a chocolate painting for the Tokyo salon.               Nothing better than this could be considered an example of how the skills and abilities of a chocolatier can be used in the artistic field: chocolate is art and therefore it is a piece of high culture. 

But what about considering a medium that can reach everybody?   

I’m speaking about television, the emblem of all mass-media! 

TCB CAFE Publishing & Media and the TasteTV, bring to chocolate lovers and new media television viewers CHOCOLATE TELEVISION, a new food, cooking and lifestyle program that stars everyone’s favorite culinary delight: Chocolate, of course!  Chocolate bars, chocolate makers, chocolate dishes, chocolate reviews, chocolate recipes, chocolate products, chocolate tastings, chocolate cookbooks, chocolatiers, even chocolate commercials, are all included on Chocolate Television. Can you stand the sweet (or bittersweet, if that’s more to your liking)? Exactly what I’m speaking about on this blog. 

On this interactive, reality television program, chefs, chocolatiers and chocolate lovers demonstrate the best recipes, taste the finest chocolates, and show how cocoa can be a delicious part of your life. In addition, selected viewers and independent producers can also share their own chocolate videos with the audience, demonstrating that there’s more than one way to enjoy the dripping, melting, solid or crunchy pleasures of “le chocolat.”  

Here there is an example of what you can see on Chocolate Television:    


What do you prefer? High culture or low culture? 

Paints can be the example of high culture because only people, who are interested in art go to exhibitions, tv instead, is a mass-medium, it reaches each house, news spread quickly and it is a window on our homes: I’ ve labeled it “low culture”  simply because it is accessible to all, not because it is less value, its contents(not all but many) can be considered “high” anyway. Probably the best solution would be to join the high and the low and to mix them up and to create a unique, single culture…

Published in: on giugno 4, 2010 at 10:36 pm  Comments (17)  

Not just production: chocoEvents and chocoFacilities not only for chocoFuns

For the past eight years, the city of Perugia in Umbria,  has been home to the Eurochocolate Festival, it is Italy’s biggest chocofest. Perugia is home to the Perugina chocolate factory (now owned by Nestle), creator of one of Italy’s most famous mass market chocolate confections, the Perugina Baci. Chocolate is such a big deal around here that the town also holds other events during the year, including the upcoming Eurochocolate Christmas. Now, they’ve had to invent a pretty fancy place for the world’s chocolate lovers to stay, a place worthy of them.

The Food of Gods becomes the present protagonist of human existence, influencing costumes and practices of common people and their daily life style. Though it means, for example communicating through a chocolate bar instead of a mobile phone, as it appears on the Italian communication campaign named: “Cioccolato senti quento è buono ;-)” – “Feel how good it is ;-)”.

The images of the campaign actually portray many ordinary people using a chocolate bar as a cellphone for chatting, texting, taking pictures, listening to the music…

Chocolate succeeds in catching modern technology in a funny and tempting trap. It turns in sweet batteries – The Chocopower,  that bucks your day up and belongs to wellness and health after the entry of Chocopirin-A, already rebaptized “Chocolate Aspirin”. In Eurochocolate, then, insatiable lovers of chocolate, adults and children, will experience the Chocolate Era plunging in a present and futuristic dimension of over glowing delicacy.

Eurochocolate means also going through the culture of a fascinating town like Perugia, plenty of history, art and traditions that in nine days time becomes a huge chocolaterie en plein air to discover, also thanks to the successful Chococard (5,00 €) offering sweet advantages for a funny experience in the name of leisure and goodness of chocolate. Advantages that will be immediately tangible among the stands of the Chocolate Show and those of the Rocca Pralina, two suggestive areas with more then 150 chocolate brands coming from each angle of the world.

Eurochocolate is also the instrument for promoting protection of important values as solidarity, biodiversity, traceability and sustainability of the production process of cocoa, aiming to guarantee a sustainable future based on the decrease of the differences between developed and developing countries.

With that mission, Eurochocolate World was born three years ago: a really appreciated vessel that promotes joint activities sponsored by international organization as ICCO (International Cocoa Organization) and Fairtrade TransFair Italia, one of the main organization for the certification of fair-trade products. Since then, Eurochocolate World confirms the success of the event in Perugia on this field as well, through concrete actions for economy development and awareness campaigns, beginning with the lessons of Equoscuola focused on fair-trade chocolate culture and addressed to the youngest generations.


And there is something more…

…They came up with the Etruscan Chocohotel an hotel devoted to our favorite substance.
That’s right, a chocolate hotel, as in chocolate, chocolate, everywhere you turn, and a restaurant menu full of sweet and savory chocolate dishes. The walls are lined with the history of chocolate, with drinking chocolate cups and chocolate labels of times gone by. The chocolate boutique carries chocolate beauty products in addition to the fine chocolates from top makers around the world.

It occurred to that something so basic, so simple, should have been invented long before now! Why hasn’t someone, on some committee somewhere long ago, proclaimed “Henceforth, all hotels shall be chocolate hotels!” Now that’s more like it.

Okay, I know what your thinking, and you’re right, you’re right, perhaps I was a bit hasty. All hotels cannot be chocolate hotels. That is completely impractical. Have to leave room the caramel hotels, the cake hotels, and of course the pie hotels. Okay, now we’ve got it.
Anyway, he important thing I want you to focus on is that there is not only choco-production for different targets, but also choco-distribution, promotion and entertainment, you just have to take part and
enjoy it!

Published in: on maggio 9, 2010 at 9:12 pm  Comments (11)  

From mass to self production:the keyword is “fair”

Chocoday -2009 October, 12th

Open Chocolatiers is this year’s big innovation, in collaboration with Fairtrade Italia. Teaching activities at schools are back, along with the partnership with CoorDown for the National Down Syndrome Day

 Good because it is made exclusively with cocoa butter and mass, without any added fat or vegetable oil. Good because it defends the ethical and social values tied to its production. And good because it is monitored throughout every production phase in terms of biodiversity, transparency and traceability.

For the fifth consecutive year, Monday 12 October 2009, was again Chocoday, the National Cocoa and Chocolate Day created and promoted by Eurochocolate in collaboration with Fairtrade Italia, the organisation that certifies fair-trade products to celebrate and promote Good Chocolate in Italy and around the world.

 Thanks to the partnership with Fairtrade Italia, the first Open Chocolatiers event will be organised this year: chocolatiers and patisseries all over Italy will allow the public to enter and discover the secrets of Italy’s best artisanal chocolate, made exclusively with chocolate certified by Fairtrade.

Cocoa producers, exporters and importers, chocolate producers, patisseries, chocolatiers, trade associations, schools, NGOs, institutions, companies and choco-lovers can offer a tangible sign of their desire to protect the quality of chocolate by signing the Chocoday Manifesto and organising activities to learn more about chocolate, distinguished by the official Chocoday logo (which can be requested free of charge).


Educational activities are held again at schools, where children and teens will receive an original “learning kit”. They also participate in laboratories, lessons and workshops, where they get in-depth information about the production chain, from cocoa plantations to the chocolate that is regularly served at our tables, in order to encourage aware consumption from an early age.

Following last year’s success, once again Chocoday is supporting National Down Syndrome Day, promoted by the Coordination of Down Syndrome Associations. It was held on Sunday 11 October 2009, in more than 200 squares in Italy, in order to encourage respect and awareness of diversity, overcome prejudices and promote true integration in schools and workplaces.

In short, Chocoday is an important initiative in order to spread the proper culture of chocolate and promote policies that can support an ethical profile in the sector’s economic sphere.

Published in: on maggio 1, 2010 at 12:51 am  Comments (7)