How to grow a chocolate tree (and muscle in on Côte D’Ivoire as the world’s top cacao producer).
3 easy steps
First, befriend a swarthy Ecuadorian farmer whose Willy Wonka grove is bisected by the pale though torrid line known as the equator (a line so pale that no one has yet to see it, so torrid that your mint-chocolate-chip ice cream melts before it hits the bowl). Second, beg for seeds. Third, plant them and start planning your empire.
But how will Cadbury deal with having to bring another cacao producer into the fold? Outstanding question. So I asked an expert. And since the nearest Cadbury office is several parsecs from the muddy outskirts of my garden patch, I settled for the next best thing: I asked an esurient, ponytailed girl who was sitting on a park bench, happenstantially and rapturously partaking in the pleasure that attends the manifold rituals associated with decimating a candy bar, the silvery wrapper glinting in the sunlight and seeming to somehow connect, for several incomprehensible moments, with a distant galaxy, her lips smothered with heavenly milk chocolate–in the selfsame way a cherub’s lips would be bespattered!–and her damask-tinged face radiating pure joy. So I asked her, “What’s the lowdown on new chocolate producing countries?” She smiled, arrantly, and left.
You are probably asking yourself what there is to learn from such an encounter. And the answer is patience. For patience is the stuff dreams are made of (I hate it when Humphrey Bogart steals and then mangles, with pitiless efficacy, my best lines). But enough of the Maltese Falcon. And come to think of it, maybe that bird was made of chocolate!