Monday, March 30, 2015


Looking at the photograph accompanying this post, if you have a sufficiently sophisticated and refined palate, you will undoubtedly recognize the wonderful slice of heaven known as a Mozartkugel. If you were to carefully pull back the fancy foil wrapping, you would find inside a particularly delectable confection made of marzipan, nougat, and dark chocolate. The picture on the outer wrapping is of one Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who is depicted because he was a chocolatier of quite some renown. A man feted for his technique with banishing the bitterness of the seeds of the cacao tree and for developing cutting edge procedures for proper fermenting of the beans encased within the seed pods. His secretive processes for drying, cleaning, and roasting these beans are unparalleled to this day. Ask any chocolatier and they will tell you that the fever surrounding Mozart's cacao nibs has never been duplicated. Mozart was well ahead of his time in lauding the healthful properties of chocolate, from its fantastic flavanol antioxidants, to its amazing alkaloids, to its soothing serotonin.

It is clear that when you have a passion for something, that one thing can become your legacy and your identity. ... Mozart? ... As he is depicted on fancy confections, must have been famous for discovering them. Right? ... Well, wrong. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart knew nothing about chocolate. He was a classical composer who lived in the mid-to-late 1700s. He composed over 600 pieces in the genre of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music, many of which are considered by experts to be among the finest in these different categories. I wonder if Mozart would be frustrated to learn that some folks know nothing about his music and simply assume that he was only some candy maven. I don't know about you, but I would be more than a little frustrated if the impression that I left with people that I interacted with was completely opposite to who I am or what I would claim to be. However, sometimes we might think we are a fine composer, but everyone really only sees us as a candy maker. It could be that their impressions and opinions of us are completely wrong and ill-informed. However, it could also be that what they see is a much accurate reflection of who we really are. They might just have a much clearer perspective of us than we do.