More Comparative Lit

I'm just digging around the internet this morning, drinking coffee and enjoying the post-Christmas food/booze coma I've fallen into. The most intriguing article I've found so far relates to the Mast Brothers chocolate "controversy". There's a ton of different posts out there about it, but I really enjoyed the NPR version with the lengthy comment field. They might as well be talking about whiskey or wine. My favorite part of the post, however, is that the story itself is brought under scrutiny. Take a look and see what you think. If you hold extreme or religious viewpoints concerning alcohol you might find this eye-opening. Top analogous comments for me were:

-Is buying a $10 chocolate bar really any different from buying a $60,000 car when a $20,000 car will get you from Point A to Point B just as well?

-People have wildly different tastes. Nowhere is that more apparent to me than with chocolate. What one person finds appealing, another will find horrible. You just have to allow for different tastes. Preferences in chocolate also change dramatically as people age. Mine trended darker as I got older. Because of this ever altering range of perceived goodness, I've always viewed chocolate experts with skepticism. Narrowing people's choices ignores the vast needs and tastes of the market. The market has a place for the Mast Brothers. Some of us prefer artesian chocolate vendors who make small batches anticipating that the manufacturing process is cleaner than larger operations. Some like to know who makes their product and something about how they make that product.

-Hershey's original chocolate has a tooth feel that is proprietary and unique in all the industry. It will never go out of fashion. You won't come off as intelligent after saying that Dom Perignon '32 is the worst champagne money can buy or Johnny Walker Blue is the worst scotch money can buy simply by qualifying it with 'to each his own'.

Lots of good stuff in there. Lots of misguiding stuff, too, but with plenty of back and forth banter. Most of it creates for an actual conversation, rather than one-upsmanship and the usual ego-driven drivel you find these days.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll