Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chocolate And Taxes

I have just about finished my tax return. Over the last few days I have taken a moment here and there to work on this blog. Math is not my favourite subject, although it sure helps to get the brain working and for that I am grateful.

When my wife and I were in Switzerland we visited a chocolate shop at the "Swiss open-air museum - Ballenburg". We had wandered over the site looking at historical buildings from all over Switzerland for 7 1/2 hours. We were exhausted. We went through a few gift shops at the end that were by the parking lot and then went into "La Chocolaterie du Ballenberg". Chocolate and Switzerland go hand in hand. Chocolate has a long history in Switzerland and the chocolate of today was developed in Switzerland. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. My wife bought a bar of milk chocolate and it was the best chocolate that I had ever tasted.

Along one wall in the chocolate shop is a display of antique chocolate moulds. Here are close-up images of the wall of chocolate moulds and pewter ice-cream moulds.

Shown with the moulds for chocolate bunnies are cocoa pods and the cocoa nibs where all of that glorious chocolate comes from.

Two shelves of Easter bunnies and at the bottom two chickens and some bells.

Here is a better look at the chickens and bells. Mixed in with the chocolate moulds were pewter ice cream moulds. These roses are for moulding soft ice cream. They are then placed in the freezer to harden. Once hard they would be unmoulded and then air brushed with edible dyes and then placed back into the freezer until needed. Wouldn't that be a treat to have presented to you on a beautiful plate.

These moulds are for producing small decorative shapes in chocolate.

This horse would be a stunning gift to receive or even as the centrepiece for a dinner party.

The antique moulds are art pieces. The detailing that went into the designs is remarkable.

A chocolate mould in the shape of a horse. I was so enthusiastic about the chocolate moulds that the owners brought out some moulds from the back for me to look at. I was in heaven. In the box was an ice cream mould in the shape of a bunch of asparagus. Around the asparagus was modeled a ribbon that delicately entwined the bunch of asparagus. The mould was over 12" tall, making the finished dessert about 12" high and approximately 5" in diameter. The unmoulded ice cream would have been air brushed and then placed back in the freezer. This would have been brought out at the end of a meal and served to the guests after everyone had oohed and aahed over this delightful frivolity. No dessert until you eat your veggies!

The two round shapes are pewter ice cream moulds in the shape of a pumpkin.

On the top shelf in front of the snowman moulds are moulds of seashells. On the shelves below are mandolins and saxophones.

This roosting hen was on top of the display case. It was about 8" or 9" tall.

A sailor in his boat sailing over a chocolate sea.

Easter egg moulds and four leaf clover moulds. The four-leaf clover is a good luck symbol used at New Years and any other time I suppose. The bottles contain samples of the various ingredients that go into the making of chocolate.

1 comment:

Kathy Dalwood said...

Hey Len - thanks for all your comments on my blog - so nice to know someone out there is reading my posts every so often!
I love this chocolate place - but what I like most are all the moulds which I would love to get my hands on as casting is my thing. Plaster anc concrete 'chocolates' appeal to you? Actually I did some plaster casts of the trays inside chocolate boxes formed in all the crazy shapes to hold the chocolates - made a great wall relief.
happy posting.