Chocolate Mishaps

***Chocolate Mishaps - Sweet and Low Moments

Chocolate is sewn into the fabric of our lives; so it's no wonder that even though it's associated with many good things, it might also be part of mishaps on a grand (or tiny) scale. See below for examples from the news, and from my little chocolate world.


May 8, 2018 - Truck in Poland overturns creating hot liquid chocolate spill
As the chocolate cooled and hardened on the road it created a driving hazard, and closed a highway.

April 13, 2015 - Monkeys endangered (Scientific American)
Sadly the clearing of forests and growth of illegal (and legal) cacao farms are endangering monkeys and other wildlife in West Africa.

Jan. 23, 2015 - Bear deaths linked to 90 pounds of treats, bear"bait" (Fox News)
Necropsy confirms 4 bears died from theobromine in chocolate bait used by New Hampshire hunter in Sept. 2014.

July 3, 2010 - Congressman compares Gulf Coast oil spill to chocolate milk...

July 2009 - Man Dies After Falling in Vat of Chocolate, New Jersey;

June 28, 2009 - Bear burgles home; gets chocolates - but can't open bottle of champagne to go with them. (Washington Post, 6/28/2009)

Jan. 8, 2008 - Chocolate Chimp(s) in Space?

Jan. 2, 2009 - Praline Chocolates Factory in Sydney area, Australia, Burns Down - for the second time in the last ~ five years. The Sydney Morning Herald

2008 - Much more amusing than tragic...Cadbury Twisted advertisements;

Oct. 2008 - Chocolate, ice cream, hot dog spill when truck overturns in Tacoma, WA area, as reported in the Seattle Times

Aug. 2008 - Joe Lieberman hit by birthday cake on bus in Florida;

2008 - Recall/scare over milk powder tainted with melamine in China that may have been used to make milk chocolate

May 2008 - Oreo spill on Illinois highway; Chicago Tribune;

2007 - Controversial Chocolate Jesus statue getting nibbled on (by mice?)

Aug. 2006 - Worker falls into 70-gallon vat of chocolate; survives with minor injuries after 2-hour extrication ordeal

2004 - 45,000 pound liquid chocolate spill on highway I-390 in New York

Sept. 2003 (?) - Liquid chocolate spill affects 3 lanes of the Pinheiros highway in Sao Paolo, Brazil;

1920s - British publisher, Francis Meynell, is rumored to have smuggled Soviet (recently murdered Tsar's) diamonds into the U.K. inside chocolates with cream centers removed.


***My Own Little Chocolate Low Moments
Chocolate vs. Skylight

These tiny trials seem incredibly trivial. But I wrote them down; so I'll include them here.

May 30, 2015 - Just a little further...Crash!..., Palo Alto, CA
Moving my set-up, lining it up to get the perfect setup of package, cup of boiling hot rose and cacao tea, glass bowl. I moved it just a bit too far; and down it all crashed to the floor. Ouch.

Aug. 1, 2012 - It's melting.... , Palo Alto, CA
Holding a piece of milk chocolate up with my fingers for a close-up photo, only to have the chocolate melt and slip out of my fingers three times, due to summer heat.

July 4, 2012 - Gluten in ice cream, Palo Alto, CA
Eating half a bowl of ice cream before realizing that this vanilla ice cream (with chocolate and potato chip bits) also contained bread crumbs. Definitely not gluten free.

May 16, 2012 - Mishap with Skylight, Palo Alto, CA
Note to self: Do not, under any circumstances, place chocolates under a skylight that is about to transmit beams of mid-day sunlight, also known as skylight rays of death to chocolate.

February 13, 2011 - Squirrel Eats My Chocolates, Palo Alto, CA
I return home to find that our resident squirrel had munched through two layers of cardboard and gotten into my L.A. Burdick Chocolates that had been left earlier on my doorstep by FedEx. (This story certainly did not make national news, but it did affect me personally.)

  • Note to self: Once again, do not get overly excited and over-stockpile new chocolates -- especially in the summer when meltdowns are possible. 
  • Keep an eye on chocolates in storage: moths might infiltrate  a back room, and take up residence in a forgotten bag of chocolates that was innocently sitting there, unable to defend itself.
  • Learn to live with the occasional bar with bloom/heat damage: melt it down for fondue; add alcohol; serve over vanilla ice cream.
  • I don't like overly sweet chocolates, except the ones I really like: go figure. (Quality makes a difference.)
Even disgusting worms like chocolate.
  • I had too many chocolates to eat, on two different occasions -- so a few went stale and became inedible. It is a little heartbreaking to be chucking once-delicious and expensive chocolates into a garbage can.
  • Almost biting into a little tiny, live moth that had gotten into a piece of wrapped chocolate. Say it with me: ewwwww.
  • Having to throw out a few chocolate purchases with peanut ingredients due to concerns over tainted peanut paste/recalls in the news.
  • Realizing I've gone over to the dark side. I'm no longer polite company. I can't refrain from making "the ick face" when I eat milk chocolate with too much sugar.
  • Mentally calculating how much I've spent on chocolate in the last few years...Let's just say it would add up to a nice vacation somewhere.
  • Begrudgingly admitted: two-three pounds of chocolate-related weight gain
  • Another tragic chocolate-left-in-the-car meltdown; RIP Guittard bar in a plastic shopping bag; Sept. 2008.
  • Chocolates with strong artificial flavors that try to overcompensate for this by adding lots of sweeteners; and my usual complaint - chocolates with lots of hydrogenated fat(s)/saturated oily taste
  • Discovering that the "Chocolate Sushi" restaurant in Sunnyvale, CA, serves good food, but there was no chocolate (sushi or otherwise). That could have been fun.
  • Eating a few "old" chocolates because I needed to eat a different kind of chocolate that day before midnight -- and that was all I had available in my chocolate stash
  • More chocolate improperly stored on store shelves or in shipping/transit, with bloom on it
  • Scharffen berger dark chocolate Easter egg filled with chocolate chicks melting together in the car (Nooo!)
  • Candy bars with lots of hydrogenated fats in them
  • A few chocolates that hadn't been stored properly
  • Half-heartedly eating a hospital candy bar - Christmas week, visiting mom in intensive care unit (Stanford University Hospital, Palo Alto, CA)

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