We hit the mother lode. This chocolate factory came to us from Columbia, unlike the others we were fortunate to trek to in Belgium, England, France, Israel, Mexico, Spain, and Switzerland. To be precise to the David Zwirner gallery near the High Line in Chelsea. Oscar Murillo’s performance art installation, A Mercantile Novel, mashes up NYC with Columbian chocolate, importing a factory line and its workers, culminating in a treat packed in foil decorated with a smiley face and the Columbina Candy Company logo.
Murillo’s novel plot of commerce and relationships features his tribute to his mother in blow up photos of her work in the factory in South America. Video of the chocolate equipment enrobing marshmallows (the Chocmelos©) along with shots of visitors to the Gallery streams from the Mercantile Novel website. Instagrammers are eligible for prizes by documenting their gifting forward of the thousands of freebies dispensed at 19th Street.
While the exhibit includes some pieces molded from melted chocolate and tennis balls, (I have not figured out that story) not unlike many other uses of sculpted chocolate, (which I generally find wasteful of good chocolate) here we see happy candy makers on their break chatting with visitors; happy tourists grabbing samples before, during and after viewing; and, happy stories of sharing the goods around town.
From Murillo’s core experience with the factory through his beloved mother’s labor, to the chocolate interplay between continents, to the melting of roles of recipient to gifter to recipient, one can only happily unwrap the smiley packet, and, as it reads: “Have a nice day!”
Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Me
Thank you to the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit for the invitation to speak at their event Chocolate, Coffee, and Judaism created in conjunction with the Detroit Institute of Arts exhibit “Bitter|Sweet: Coffee, Tea & Chocolate.” Not only did I have the opportunity to meet a curious audience, I also presented with Professor Howard LupovitchRead more ›
Super Food Chocolate for Super Bowl Sunday: Three Recipes
Try these super-easy-to-make chocolate treats for Super Bowl Sunday. They are especially appropriate since they include the super food, cocoa nibs. Your guests and family will happily dip into these savory and sweet temptations. The recipes are easily adaptable for small gatherings or large parties and will appeal to all ages. Prepped days ahead, theseRead more ›
Election 2016: Winning Fudge Brigadeiros
The candidate’s wife and women supporters made these Brazilian chocolate fudge truffles to win him the campaign. He loved them. She made them. Post World War II food shortages in Brazil meant a lack of sweets. Fortunately, cocoa powder and condensed milk were available and combined to create the nationally beloved bonbons named brigadeiros (Portuguese).Read more ›
On the Chocolate Trail in Brooklyn
Stories of New Yorkers and their chocolate abound so we followed the chocolate trail there. A long heritage of Brooklyn chocolate production and innovation precedes today’s bean-to-bar, artisanal, and industrial chocolate enterprises. All the way back in the late 1800s immigrants to Brooklyn succeeded in the chocolate, bakery and candy businesses. Now Brooklyn hosts Valhrona,Read more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- Adventures On the Chocolate Trail: Atlanta, Portland, Seattle
- Anschluss Launches Bartons Passover Favorites 77 Years Ago
- Bat Mitzvah Wants Fair Trade Israeli Chocolate
- Bringing Buckeye Candy to Experts
- Can’t Live Without Chocolate?
- Chocolate Expo
- Chocolate Made My Lunch: Nashville
- Chocolate Signals
- Fathering Chocolate
- Hunting for Chocolate: Fancy Food Show, NYC, 2016
- It's Chocolate Season
- Labor Day in our Chocolate
- Local Chocolate in the South
- Minding Our Chocolate
- Saluting Military Chocolate
- Seriously Tasting Chocolate
- Smiley Chocolate
- Ten Teaspoons of Sugar in My Chocolate?
- That Time Jews Smuggled Chocolate to France — and a Recipe for Basque Chocolate Cake
- Think Chocolate in Preparation for Passover’s Discussions and Eating