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When I Grow up I want to be a Prestat Chocolate

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22.02.2012

cocoa-beansAll was calm in the cocoa pod. The air was thick with anticipation; The Man with the Big Knife could be heard approaching. Twas the season to be picked, finally. The pod, though a comfort to be in, was bearing its fruit.

“Okay everyone” said Mother Cocoa Bean, “you all know the plan. You know what happens next, are we ready?”

If Mother Cocoa Bean had had time, she might have gone through the plan once more. Get cut down. Broken open, separated, perhaps forever. Lie on the ground to bask in the glorious rays of the Sun, and wait for the Conversion.

Time was of the essence for The Man with the Big Knife however, and in one fell swoop, the cut was made. The Cocoa beans had the exhilarating sensation of falling, before they hit the ground, ready to be scooped up.

Two days hence, and Kirby the Cocoa Bean was waiting, and wondering. He had been schooled wisely whilst in the pod with his family. Cocoa beans do not have many options in life. With such a limited capacity for career options, the most that can be hoped for is to end up in a box of the most wonderful chocolates they can. Mother Cocoa Bean had filled their little shells with tales of Chocolate factories, where they are turned into the smoothest liquid, before being added that other human favourite, sugar. If they were very lucky, they could be fudged, or truffled, or marbled. If they were quite lucky, Old Man Cadbury could use them and they would feature in adverts with a suggestive bunny rabbit. If their luck was cut as swiftly as their pod with a machete swipe, they might find themselves in the unfortunate position of becoming a candy bar. And whilst that may sound exotic, the problem with candy bars, Mother Bean always said, was that there was less of you left than anything else. “Anything less than 30% and count yourself disowned” went what became a refrain.

Later that week, and into the furnace for roasting. Mother Cocoa Bean had been reticent here; to tell one’s children that they were about to be burned to within an inch of their lives was not an easy job, and was probably best shirked altogether. ‘Besides’, thought Mother Cocoa Bean, ‘we have no nervous system to speak of, and cannot feel pain.’ It was best not to upset the children.

Kirby Cocoa Bean did not enjoy the process, despite the lack of pain receptors. He felt himself being scooped up into a great mound, with many cocoa beans he did not know. The sudden realisation that the individual had no control over where he or she ended up could not be shaken. He glanced around, absolutely sure that he could see the riff- raff from the tree next to theirs in his batch. ‘They’ll never end up a luxury chocolate’ he thought. But where did that leave Kirby? Destined for a powder to be sprinkled over overpriced coffee (which had happened to an uncle, so the legend had it)?

As it happened, all was well. Mother Cocoa Bean had explained about being conched, where they were ground and liquefied before having those hallowed additives, sugar and vanilla, added to their person. “The longer you are conched”, she would say, “the better”.

Well Kirby was conched for what seemed like forever. Things were looking up. The sweet smell of vanilla wafted through what passed for a liquefied cocoa bean’s nostrils, and relaxation followed. Sugar, that holy element, had attached itself nicely to Kirby’s newly-malleable form. He did what he had been taught and focussed with all his might, all of his attention on how much of him was left. ‘Not all there’ being a jibe to a human, is merely pedestrian to a cocoa bean who wants to be a chocolate. ‘Mostly there’ is what to aim for.

Kirby was in fact 70% present. Yes, things were looking up indeed. The fear of ending up as an ‘essence of’ in a body lotion could be banished. The dream of being bought in a beautifully embossed and colourful box by a rarefied and distinguished individual was seemingly coming to fruition.

Though taught to dream big, no cocoa bean dares to believe that they could find themselves nesting inside a box with a Royal stamp of approval. It would be beyond the wildest dreams of the average bean. The Holy Grail to a cocoa bean from humble beginnings in South America was to be purveyed by the elegant Prestat, King amongst a sea of chocolate-related goods.

Kirby the Cocoa Bean had hit the jackpot. Whatever had happened to the various members of his family (and he had a sneaking suspicion that his twin was lying somewhere in Nestle headquarters, poor thing), HE had managed to run the entire gauntlet, coming out top trumps. The Usain Bolt of chocolate. Kirby felt a sense of relief. A Prestat chocolate, who would believe him? He hoped to get the message to Mother Cocoa Bean soon.

Having talked about the reticent nature of Mother Cocoa Bean before, it should come as no surprise that she had left out another important nugget of information, so an not to trouble her children. The purpose of chocolate……..

A lady in a fine cotton dressing gown disrobed, and sank into a well- deserved bath. The candles were lit; Schubert could be heard from the speakers. She had just hosted a wonderful dinner party. Her blinis had gone down a treat, and she was relieved; she’d spent hours perfecting the menu. A thank- you gift for a wonderful time lay at the table beside her. A box of the brightest pink, and the bluest blue, with gold lettering, was just within reach. She pulled off the lid, unfolded the paper, and brought the box to her face, inhaling deeply as she sank deeper into the hot water. Very appreciative of the intoxicating smell of Prestat chocolate, her fingers hesitated over one or two choices, before clasping themselves around a small square of deep brown. She brought the chocolate to her lips, opened her mouth, and would have been most thankful that cocoa beans do not have nervous systems, because Kirby the Cocoa Bean had been such a nice guy.

Why not taste the cocoa beans finished result and shop our wonderful range of Prestat chocolates

Anthony Lewis- Binns

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