Friday, 11 September 2009

Willy Wonka in St Jean de Luz

Today we move outside of St Jean de Luz. Cadbury, the UK chocolate company that inspired Willy Wonka, has been under fire this week from Kraft of America (they make processed cheese and stuff) who made a hostile bid for the company.

The British do love their chocolate. Locals in St Jean de Luz are often amazed at the plethora of confectionery on offer in UK shops. Basques are also chocolate experts. They claim they were importing cocoa, making and exporting chocolate before anyone else in Europe, even the Belgians.

Cadbury is one of those rare brands that people grow up loving and not just people in the UK. Even the French have a soft (centred) spot for the company and are aghast at the American overture (I can't imagine the French government allowing this to have even reached the table were it a French company). Despite centuries of war and verbal wrangling chocolate seems to be finally bringing people together on a united front. I am sure Willy Wonka and his oompa loompas would be impressed. I also suspect that if John Cadbury had a time machine in his shop back in 1824 he would have a wry smile on his face.

It is a robust, innovative company that makes my favourite treat (Dariy Milk), may the ghosts of Bournville and Wonka's chocolate factory rise up and safeguard its heritage.

Basque of the day:- defence :: defendatze