The Perfect Chocolate Bar
It puzzles me. Here I am, 57 years old, a former diplomat, I've been eating chocolate most of my life, I love chocolate, I know what good chocolate tastes like, yet I have trouble finding any chocolate that I genuinely enjoy. I'm surrounded, it seems, by insidious commercial chocolate, none of it tasty. I've tried, for example, just about every chocolate offered by my local Whole Foods, many of them organic, some very expensive, but most downright awful. So when the store recently put a new product offering on the shelves it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I bought an Ocho organic coconut bar — indeed, more, perhaps, in the spirit of experimental research than anything else. But, of course, hope also springs eternal! Long story short, I was completely smitten at the first bite. This is a marvelous confection, everything that you'd always wanted a Mounds bar to be; perhaps even what many people (wrongly) remember a Mounds bar to have been once upon a time. Rich, chewy, coconut tasting coconut — real coconut, and organic, too — coated with just the right amount of super premium dark chocolate, and just the right size for a satisfying snack. It's far and away the best coconut bar I've ever had and one of the top ten chocolate bars of any kind I've ever had.
If you live out on the West Coast this may not be new news. I'm told by Ocho publicity that they've been the top selling confection in the Northern California Whole Foods region for some time. Besides California they've also been selling for the past few years in Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii. They're just now launching on the East Coast and in the Pacific Northwest. And, yes, their coconut bar is their top seller.
But now I worry. I'm reminded of when I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago and every now and then used to take a long, long drive into the suburbs just to buy Dove ice cream bars. They were fantastic. Homemade. Wrapped in simple paper wrappers and kept in an old sliding top waist-high freezer. Whoever it was who made them knew chocolate. But then at some point the "Dove" product, name, etc., was sold to a large corporation. Ever since then, marketed as a luxury dessert, "Dove" chocolate covered ice cream is available everywhere. And it's junk, nothing remotely like the original. So I have no doubt, none, that if one of the big candy companies bought Ocho the confection would be ruined. And I have no doubt, either, that some big candy company will try to buy Ocho. When that happens, hopefully Ocho's founders will resist the temptation of a mega-million payday...