h a l f b a k e r y
"Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
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I don't think I've ever eaten a pristine
Cadbury Flake. Invariably, large shards of
the ripply chocolate have sheared away
from the main corpus, accompanied by a
sad collection of crumbs in the end of the
wrapper. Often, the whole thing has
suffered catastrophic failure, and is in two
more disjointed segments. Of course it
can repaired with a soldering iron set on
low heat, but this is tedious and the
results are never perfect.
Crisps are even worse. The little scree-
pile of overflavoured shards in the bottom
of the packet bear witness to a troubled
life beset with careless handling. Repair,
in these cases, is almost invariably
I think it behoves the manufacturers of the
better sorts of chocolate bars, crisps and
suchlike, to produce a special range of
"Mint Condition" products for the
discerning shopper. These products
would be carefully selected from the
production line, and taken to a quiet room
where they would be hand-packed with
loving gentleness (but in the same
wrapper as the regular product). Perhaps
a small wax seal* could be added to
distinguish these from the hoi polloi of
These mint-condition items would then be
individually packaged in bubble wrap, and
dispatched to suitable retailers for sale (at
a suitable premium) to discerning
[*or other appropriate mammal]
[MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 08 2007]
[hippo, Oct 09 2007]
||cadbury chocolate comes in bars that are not at all flakey and crisps, well they come in potatoes.
||you think the pun fooled us?
||Hint: a hot air gun and a suitable mould can be used to consolidate a troubled flake into a pristine ingot, although the original intention is lost and the yield (as with any flake derivative) is not high.
||[po] - china clay is also available as
large blocks. However, this is no
subsitute for a vase that has been
shattered by some misfortune.
||[texticle] - Agreed but, as you note, the
consolidated Flake will lose its essential
flakiness. Even the soldering-iron
method is capable only of welding
together the outermost layers - the
many internal fractures remain, unless
one goes through a very painstaking
process of delaminating the whole thing
and rebuilding it ripple by ripple.
||I know of only one person in the entire
U.K. who is capable of restoring Flakes
to their original condition. A complete
strip-down and rebuild can take many
weeks, and his services command a
high price. I am not prepared to
divulge his name, as he is currently
undertaking some restoration work for
me, and I don't want him lured away by
a better offer.
||I have heard that Lancashire craftsmen
have developed an endoripplic laser
tool for microsurgery on Flakes. It has
a fine fibreoptic needle which can be
carefully guided down the channels
between the folded ripples of chocolate.
At the end of the needle is a mirror and
lens arrangement (for viewing the
interior of the channel), and a second
lens which focusses a laser beam into a
small spot hot enough to weld the
fractured chocolate back together. I've
seen some very impressive results, but
the system isn't (yet) commercially
||See, this is exactly what's wrong with modernised life partly thanks to consumerism. The premium attributed to 'pristine' instances of a mass-available product - especially one that you'll eat in a short while, transformed into a nondescript mulch passing along your digestive tract - is possibly indicative of a form of mental illness. A mental illness that much of society shares, and is associated with a fear of abberation, a phobia of variability, an insecurity surrounding getting less than a fair share when that share is in fact perfectly adequate nevertheless for the original purpose. Consequently, everything is selected, polished, ripened, shiny, wrapped, wrapped again, barcoded, photographed to make it look better than the real thing, contents may settle, may contain nuts.
||Good grief, man. It's modernized life
that's the problem in the first place!
Flakes used to be made by hand-
pleating chocolate sheets held at just
the right temperature, by craftsmen
who knew their business and took pride
in their job. It's only since we've started
churning these things out by the
hundred that we've treated them as
throwaway chaff to be bounced
carelessly in a delivery van and stacked
with abandon on the shelves by some
spotty oik who couldn't care less. I'm
arguing from a gentle retreat from this
||Incidentally, I just realized that I can't
think of any word except "throwaway"
that has "wawa" in it. So this has all
||I like a bit of rough actually. pristine rhymes with my name but does nothing for me.
||Well, miss Dean, each to their own.
||//other appropriate mammal// = gummy bear?
||Both, but I don't understand the question.
||Ah. Follow. With you. Quite. Doubly so,
||mmmmmmmm pristine chocolate...
<David Attenborough voice> Here we have the lesser spotty oik in its natural habitat, a suburban supermarket. Frequently nocturnal, the oik will stack shelves for hours on end, for little apparent personal gain, with others of its kind.</DAv>
||I don't know about this. One of the signs the Flake connoisseur looks for is the shape and volume of the broken-off shards of chocolate. These give vital clues as to the consistency of the chocolate used, the humidity at which the packet was sealed, and how well the Flake has developed through the aging and maturation process. About a teaspoon of chocolate shards in a packet is a good sign, indicating that the Flake in question is likely to be the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate.
||The bits at the bottom of a pack are the best, whether that pack contained crisps, a flake, pork scratchings or peanuts. Last Rolo anyone?
||Yes, but only in the context of a whole packet - you wouldn't want a packet just of the crumbs from the bottom of other packets.
||//Chiwawa from Petawawa// That would
be a Chiuaua, shirley? But I am happy to
have had stowaway brought to my
attention. Not sure about towaway. And
[hippo], I would have to disagree. In fact