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Chocolatier: The Game! And Other Choco Derring-do

"Some 40 years ago, a budding chocolatier arrived on the scene and helped restore the fortunes of the once-great chocolate empire Baumeister Confections."

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Screenshot courtesy of PlayFirst.

At least that's the story according to the opening screen of Chocolatier 2, a computer game from PlayFirst (the company behind the culinarily-inspired virtual pastimes DinerDash and, of course, Chocolatier 1). In the new version, which launches this week, you start at a San Francisco factory that bears a striking resemblance to the Ghirardelli headquarters (though the plot shares more with the Guittard family history) before traveling off to San Jose, California; Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; and Paris to make deals and secure investments. You get 50 sacks each of cocoa beans and sugar along with a set of candy recipes, but figuring out how to make artisanal chocolate may be easier than learning the rules of the game.

I suppose it's up to your imagination whether the Baumeister business dealings are socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. Adventurers looking for more accountability might want to close their laptops and jump into the Land Cruiser with Andy Pag and John Grimshaw, two Brits who are driving from Europe to Timbuktu with a tank full of cocoa-bean biodiesel. The pair has already been profiled in the Independent, on the BBC, and in the Times of India.

About the author: Emily Stone, a food writer and proprietor of Chocolate in Context, is a chocolate enthusiast, itinerant traveler, and a lover of literature who lives in Pittsburgh.

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