Sunday, December 24, 2006
Last minute shopping. Encouraged by reading Charles Shere's post on ice cream, gelato, and chocolate, I made a last minute attempt to locate one bar of Munz Orange as a gift for someone precious. (Sadly, I can't eat them anymore myself). I tried every Chocolaterie in Frankfurt. No luck.
In Thomas Bernhard's novel Wittgenstein's Nephew, the first-person narrator and the title figure make a mad drive across a serious portion of Austria in search of the day's issue of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. It becomes clear that for the two, a town qualifies as civilized if and only if the current issue of the NZZ is available on the day of publication in the local newsstands.
I share their estimation of the NZZ, but would also add the availability of Munz Orangentafeln to their criteria. No other chocolate firm manages to work magic with whole orange slices the way Munz does, the texture is unforgettable to tooth and tongue, and the balance between the citrus and chocolate universes restores ones faith that the earth will continue to rotate on its axis and voyage around the sun.
Quality. Would you drive across lower Austria to hear a contrabass concerto by John Harbison? Would you search through every little candy store in town in the last shopping hours before christmas in order to hear Placido Domingo in an opera about an Emperor commissioning a patriotic hymn?