bean theory

this morning: a monk walking down my neighborhood street carrying a letter to the post office and then a praying mantis disguised as a woman with red hair wearing purple striped pants carrying a large (very large) plant. 

the extraordinary in the ordinary! i thought, as if i'd discovered the secret to the universe, and then of course turned up the song on the radio and went humming off to make chocolate. 

later a cocoa bean flew through the air, having leapt up and out of the winnower, and beaned me (sorry) on the head. the ordinary now extraordinary, if not a wee bit painful. and random, which defies all those laws of energy and physics i'm sure.

this is the language of cocoa beans. in craft chocolate they are also called cacao beans and sometimes i say that too, just to make sure the other chocolate makers know I Am Serious about this chocolate making thing. the name is not what matters. nor do the other titles that ride upon the hardworking backs of cocoa beans, King Criollo and his fellow aide de camps Sir Forastero and the goodly Lady Trinitario. there is much discussion about heritage and heirloom and genotyping, and all of it, really worthy and to those folks who make it their business to see about all that, i thank you.

what matters is that the chocolate we craft makers provide is real, that it pays homage to the raison d'etre, which in fact, is the bean. that it is not a mashup of predictable tastes preordained by decree, that is, Chocolate Must and Therefore Henceforth Shall, Taste Like This, and Only This. 

because if we endeavor to make it all taste the same, behave the same, fall in line with the same snappy march, then why make it at all? the changing of the palate guard comes from taking the ordinary and walking it two blocks over where it gets better light. it comes from appearing to be extraordinary and wearing simple keds with tube socks while you smile the extraordinary be here now smile. it comes from pouring ourselves into our craft like there is no tomorrow only to find we've been beaten to the punch, and waiting for us is a simple, humble, culture and border and taste-defying cacao bean that will, when we least expect it, and if we are lucky (see also: randomness) knock some sense into us.