Vale Chocolate

(C) Julie Boyd 2009

Just one more piece- what harm can that do?

Millions of women, and possibly the occasional man, around the world justify that next piece of chocolate to themselves. The warning a moment on your lips, forever on your hips is no deterrent to the true chocoholic. Until now.

I once suggested when Bush declared war in Iraq that instead of sending soldiers he should plant the world’s supply of chocolate in Afghanistan then send contingents of mothers in to rid the world of the Bin Laden acolytes. Set the chocoholics loose- you’d have them in a day, and they’d get a damn good talking to as well.

The change in the shape of the wrapper was the final straw for me. Cadbury, that great Australian institution and temple to all chocolate worshippers has done the unthinkable and changed its chocolate.

Not since I was a kid and Akta Vite (what?) underwent a similar makeover which destroyed the flavour, and its own market share, have I felt so betrayed.
I am part of a generation that grew up with ‘a glass and a half of milk in every block’ allowing us to see chocolate as an integral part of our daily requirement of dairy food, until some genius declared it as a food group in its own right. I know, I have the tee shirt to prove it. Dutifully, a block was consumed each day to fulfill my dietary requirements. Until now.

Suddenly my milky, creamy, addictive (but dietarily important) fix is being presented in a cardboard box instead of the gift wrapped paper treat which tore with a certain sound, revealing a chocoholics secret to others in the household whenever they indulged.

And to add insult to injury, the texture has changed from creamy to oily. Why?
Who was the bright spark at Cadbury who said let’s p… off half the population of Australia, and most menopausal women by making our chocolate inedible. They clearly didn’t do their research and realise that those of us with no gall bladders, still secretly addicted but unable to digest properly – now have no hope of eating the newly oiled substance.

Who, at Cadbury said to the Board, let’s use palm oil in our chocolate and reduce dairy herds as our contribution to climate change. After all, cows fart methane, a more poisonous gas than carbon dioxide and the climate change scientists are calling for a reduction in meat related eating habits by those countries who indulge so heavily. They meant hamburger eating fatties fuelled by greedy multinationals you fools – not chocolate producing dairy cows. A pulp mill in Tassie will fart far more gas into the atmosphere than the dairy cows which fuel Charlie’s Chocolate factory in Hobart.

Your change to palm oil is an even bigger problem. Not only has it changed the flavour, but palm oil is collected by child labour and the plantations are destroying precious Orangutan habitat, critically endangering our nearest DNA relative.

The only possible explanation that still makes no sense to me is that milk has changed too. From the simple white stuff of my childhood that came straight from the cow and had to be heated (to pasteurise it), and then allowed to settle so thick cream could be scooped from the top and made into butter, or put on scones fresh from the oven, to the dozens of boxed varieties of sometimes questionable white stuff that fill supermarket shelves these day. I often wonder when we’ll start getting small subtitles on the boxes stating ‘reconstituted milk. Contains 5% whole milk’. Maybe we already do and my eyesight isn’t good enough to read the small print.

So thanks, Cadbury, for forcing me finally to give up a lifetime addiction. May my favourite chocolate RIP along with my last glass of Akta Vite.

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