Home > Food, Language > Chocolate-Mockolate


September 23, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

There was a report on NBC’s Today Show last Friday with an accompanying print version about Hershey’s’ switch “to less expensive ingredients in several of its products. In particular, cocoa butter — the ingredient famous for giving chocolate its creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture — has been replaced with vegetable oil.” The report goes on to explain that the “removal of cocoa butter violates the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s definition of milk chocolate, so subtle changes have appeared on the labels of the Hershey’s products with altered recipes. Products once labeled ‘milk chocolate’ now say ‘chocolate candy,’ ‘made with chocolate’ or ‘chocolatey.'”

This is depressing for any number of reasons, but what caught my eye, or ear, was Cybele May’s comment on the show that a “lot of people don’t notice it. The package looks exactly the same. I feel betrayed by Hershey’s. They’re giving me an inferior product and they’re not even telling me … . I call it mockolate, which is basically a fake chocolate product.” Ms May writes the Candy Blog, and has commented at length on the issues. For example, a post last Saturday discusses what wasn’t covered on the Today Show interview.

What is it that caught my ear? The presumed rhyme of chocolate and mockolate. Soon after I moved to Seattle 27 years ago, I saw a customized license plate that said SEAHOX. There was, and still is, a professional football team in town called the Seahawks. It actually took me some seconds to realize that for the owner of the car, hox and hawks were homonyms. It had never occurred to me prior to that day that they might be. I still can’t get used to this, despite being married for the last 23 years to a woman who also treats them as homonyms, having a step-daughter who does, and even having a son who does. (Why has he not adopted my attenuated New York accent?)

I didn’t actually watch the Today Show last Friday, so I can only presume that Ms May rhymes ‘chocolate’ and ‘mockolate.’ Reading the report, rather than hearing it, and with 27 years to develop some intuition, I still had to stare at the two words for a while, in print, before I caught on that they rhyme. Maybe some day I will be able to see the rhyme immediately. And maybe some day, when my wife suggests that I take a walk, I won’t take a wok out of the cabinet.

Categories: Food, Language
  1. gailirving
    September 23, 2008 at 10:56 AM

    if my coat is on, we are going for a walk. If my apron is on, get out my wok. It’s very simple. Use your senses.

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