Sunday, January 2, 2011

Format Changes

Thus far I have written in a free-form style, discussing whatever I want to about a bar and always addressing only smell and taste. While I enjoy this writing process, I'm changing it for two reasons.

The first reason is that I'd like to make a habit of discussing the company behind each bar. Chocolate is an amazing product, in which corporate backing can mean anything from child slave labor to community-owned farms with fairly paid employees. It's also fascinating in how frequently small companies are subsumed by larger ones, often huge international conglomerates, which might leave the product alone or might change everything but the name. Your choice in chocolate can involve personal taste, environmental effects, several countries' growers and processors, and a complex corporate history in a knot of often hidden ethical implications. It's worth a little research, especially for such an unnecessary luxury product. I'm not promising dissertations here, but rather a short, dedicated entry on the corporate background of each bar.

The second reason is that the casual reader might not care about the history of a company or what I was thinking when I bought a bar. Thus I want to deconstruct my mushy paragraphs into several easily perused categories. Here's my current thinking:

  • Size/Ingredients/Sugar Content: same as before
  • Introduction: how I bought the bar and any other personal musings
  • Corporate Info
  • Appearance
  • Smell
  • Taste: texture, general overview (sour/bitter/sweet etc)
  • Snooty Reviewer Stuff: my attempt at analyzing subtleties of scent and flavor
  • Final Thoughts, if applicable
  • Conclusion: same as before

One more thing: I'll be posting more on individual chocolate shops. I've generally avoided such posts because they're usually specific to my town (Seattle) and I don't want to hold myself to any particular reviewing standards, but I recently had a good experience at a local shop and want to write about it. Shop “reviews” will still be relatively infrequent.

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