Archive for the ‘Elephants’ Category

Are People Who Eat Chocolate Smarter?

Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Albert Einstein use to eat a three ounce bar of dark chocolate everyday. Thomas Jefferson had his chocolate imported from France and Spain. Theodore Roosevelt always had chocolate packed in his steamer trunk for his excursions into the wilderness and it isn’t by coincidence that more chocolate is consumed in California’s Silicon Valley than in any other place in America. If this is all true, then one has to assume that chocolate is “brain food” and the smartest people in the world eat chocolate.

We are right in the middle of what one might say is the most important election of our life times. Then, it’s only logical that if these people—chocolate eaters—are so smart, they should be able to accurately predict who is going to be the next president of the United States. More than that, chocolate lovers should also be able to forecast who will control the Senate and The House of Representatives.

This week Choclatique launched the first-ever chocolate election poll to predict who will take a bite out of the 2012 election. As experts in chocolate, we felt compelled to add our expertise for the debut of the world’s first and only chocolate political poll.

American FlagNow chocolate lovers can cast their vote at and follow the voting progress of their favorite candidate during the Presidential Election, as well as which party will control the House of Representatives, Senate and even the Supreme Court. These poll results are ‘easy to swallow’ and practically foolproof, with a “fudge” factor of + 2%, for people who eat chocolate “never” lie.

Our Presidential Poll is a great indication of both political preferences and the overall mood of the nation since the world’s greatest mood elevator is chocolate. We think you’ll find it fun to play politics in a non-threatening, safe environment that is a ‘tasteful’ way to predict the election.” My partner, Joan Vieweger, is the lead pollster for this campaign, as well as a leading market researcher for several Fortune 100 food companies.

At the same tome Choclatique is also unveiling our new Capitol Collection, a new line of truffles, each piece representing either Democrats (blue donkeys) or Republicans (red elephants). Each individual piece of chocolate is a hand-decorated white chocolate truffle filled with soft, creamy, dark chocolate ganache.

BlueDonkeyThese limited edition, authentically American-made chocolates are available now through the November 2012 Election with 15 percent of the proceeds benefiting Operation Homefront. Supporting returning veterans, Operation Homefront provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors.

This is where Democrats and Republicans can put aside their differences and unite with chocolaty, bipartisan goodness. “We have created the perfect union in our Capitol Collection established upon principles of peace, freedom, equality, justice, liberty and the love of chocolate for all.

RedElephantThis stately collection is available in Donkeys, Elephants or Bipartisan gift boxes, which come in an array of sizes including: 8-pieces ($18.00), 15-pieces ($30.00) and 30-pieces ($55.00). For election viewing party favors, customers can purchase mini gift sets of two pieces (12 sets of two for $50.00). Orders can be placed at Choclatique ships nationwide in elegant, reusable, leather gift boxes with hand-tied ribbon that are sealed for ultimate freshness.

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The Eyes of Thailand

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

Elephant ChocolateLast April I wrote about the introduction of Choclatique Elephant—Seriously Strong Chocolate (76%). Since we first introduced it, Elephant Chocolate has become one of our most popular choices for the serious dark chocolate lover.

Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) Elephant Hospital in Chiang Mai, ThailandOne of our biggest “fans” is Windy Borman who has produced an amazing film, The Eyes of Thailand. It is a full-length color documentary about Soraida Salwala, the founder of the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) Elephant Hospital in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It chronicles her efforts to save sick and abused Asian elephants of the region. It is tragic to realize that Asian elephants are in serious danger of going extinct within our lifetime!

Now that elephant logging is now illegal in Thailand, many owners look to the tourism industry for income to feed their families and their animals. There are now over 2,000 elephants working in tourist trade, as street beggars, or performing in elephant circus shows. While some tourists think it is fun and exciting to see an elephant up close, feed her bananas, or walk through the jungle on her back, the reality of their lives is much different.

Many of these elephants are overworked and suffer injuries from performances or car accidents, water poisoning from dirty city water and starvation. Others are causalities of landmines where their limbs are blow off. At Choclatique we have held several successful fund raisers to help Windy get her film completed, out for distribution and help save the elephants. The latest one was in mid-December.

Soraida Salwala with an Elephant patientBut unfortunately, December has been a month of ups and downs for the elephants of Chiang Mai—two pachyderm patients (Tahnee and Baby Namfon) died. At the same time Baby Mosha, a 3-year old Asian Elephant landmine survivor was fitted for a new prosthetic limb by the Prostheses Foundation at FAE’s Elephant Hospital. This is her fourth prosthesis since arriving at FAE in 2006. As you can imagine the costs of feeding over 20 elephants, providing medication and, of course changing out prosthetic limbs as often as buying baby a new pair of shoes is expensive.

You can help with a donation to The Eyes of Thailand through their fiscal sponsor, The San Francisco Film Society. You can make a donation in your name, or in honor of someone else, online by clicking here. The link will take you to the secure online donation page for The San Francisco Film Society.

Meet Baby Mosha

Baby MoshaMosha (which means Star in the Karin language) is a 3-year old Asian Elephant at the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) Elephant Hospital.

When she was 7-months old, Mosha stepped on a landmine along the Thai-Burma border. Her owner donated her to FAE, where Soraida Salwala and her staff could rehabilitate and care for her.

This week the Prostheses Foundation visited Mosha and made a mold of her leg to create her fourth prosthesis. As a permanent resident of FAE, Mosha will continue to receive prosthetic limbs throughout her lifetime, which can be as long as 60-80 years.

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Seriously Strong “Elephant” Chocolate?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

We recently introduced our newest high percentage cacao content dark chocolate—Choclatique’s Elephant…Seriously Strong Chocolate (76%). Over the last couple of months, many have asked us about its origins… and why “Elephant?”

When chocolate and coffee were first spreading across Europe, many of the importers were looking for ways of differentiating their products and brands in the marketplace.  The old tin-lined wooden boxes (similar to tea boxes from Asia) and burlap bags that the beans were shipped in really didn’t tell enough of the story to the consuming public.

Animal-style logos appeared on the scene right around the turn of the 20th century. They were designed and put in place on smaller retail containers in stores selling chocolate and coffee throughout the British Empire. The story that they were trying to convey to the public was that their brand of chocolate (or coffee) were both strong and “full-value.” The early logos that the importers used to portray strength were large animals—rhinoceros was a favorite. But, how many rhinos on packages of chocolate can be on the market at the same time without creating general confusion? Elephant and hippopotamus caricatures were next to be seen, followed by horses, eagles and even a few non-animal logos like clipper ships and tall mountains. But the consumer kept coming back for the products portrayed by rhinoceros and elephants.

Ed, Noi & Oon

Ed, Noi & Oon

At Choclatique the founders have a “thing” for elephants. I have traveled to over 130 countries in search of great chocolate sources and have spent many months in Asia where elephants have been an important part of the history and culture of the region.

I have a favorite place just outside of Bangkok which is one of the few elephant refuges in the world where you can spend hours in close contact with the very strong, but playful pachyderms. Look closely, and you’ll see that we’re all smiling! Yes, elephants smile and they laugh, too!

Tasting Chocolate

When seriously tasting chocolate, you should allow the chocolate to slowly melt in your mouth to savor the flavor. With Elephant you’ll get big, rich chocolate flavor with the essence of ripe cherry, berry, wine and then more deep chocolate over complex layers of tart citrus, tropical red and yellow fruit and roasted nutty notes. This is all held up by the solid, rich and intense deep chocolate base. This high cacao content, medium-bodied, very intense chocolate is smooth on the tongue and palate with a long, pleasant chocolate finish.

Choclatique's Elephant Chocolate

Choclatique’s Elephant Chocolate

We have found these tastes to be right in sync with the flavors that Americans love when eating chocolate.  Oh, and by the way, people really love the look of the beautiful, detailed custom mold we had designed just for our Elephant Chocolate.

Choclatique’s dark chocolates—Private Reserve (64%), Ebony (72%), Elephant (76%) and Q-91 (91%) are never bitter or brittle, and they have a naturally intense dark chocolate flavor which requires the use of less sugar. When you tastes our Elephant Chocolate you will see (and taste) the “fruits” of our labor.

If you love elephants, too, and want more information about how to help save these big, gentle creatures, check out Windy Borman and “The Eyes of Thailand” at:

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