Comfortable and Furious


“Wonka” – Life is like a box of chocolates.

It’s the holidays and you know what that means…mystery chocolates. I suppose it’s also a time for family and gifts and arguments. But nothing gets the adrenaline going like examining the box of chocolates that mysteriously only materializes on holidays, hoping the picture on the inside of the lid is telling the truth about the insides of the chocolates, and scrutinizing every wrinkle of chocolate on that morsel two from the left that isn’t a perfect match to the picture. Best to just take a deep breath and hope that wrinkle isn’t bourn of coconut.

The box of chocolates this year is called Wonka. Based on the new film Wonka, the box promises a variety of flavors from chocolate to vanilla to magic to indentured servants to songs to cartoonish villains to more chocolate. The box also features a name and description for each type of chocolate found in the box. The box itself is gorgeously decorated. So, I took a deep breath and started trying them.

The first one is labelled “The Opening Number.” The box tells me it’s a song sung by Willy Wonka (Timothee Chalamet) upon arriving in a town that may or not be European, this chocolate is one of several that tastes like music in your mouth. It’s perfectly round with no identifying frills or markings and tastes like vanilla. The box appears to have five or six more chocolates that look just like it.

The next one says “Scrubbits.” A surprise for your palette, this piece is inspired by innkeepers that always have a room available for a downtrodden traveler. It features two faces on it, one named Mrs. Scrubbit (Olivia Colman) and the other named Bleacher (Tom Davis). The box wasn’t kidding about this one being a surprise. It tastes like ham, but well-seasoned ham.

The next three are all shaped like eggs and richly colored. The yellow one with the plaid print is called “Prodnose” (Matt Lucas). The grey one painted like a suit jacket is called “Fickelgruber” (Mathew Baynton). And the blue one with pin stripes is called “Slugworth” (Paterson Joseph). The description is the same for each: Whether eaten individually or as a group, these bad eggs will attack your palette. Fickelgruber and Prodnose both have a bland nougat center and taste like a 3 Musketeers bar that has seen at least three Halloweens. On the other hand, Slugworth is filled with a gooey cherry concoction that practically explodes when eaten. It’s a very loud, flamboyant flavor that isn’t trying to be subtle at all. I mostly like it, but it’s a bit over the top.

Another round one, this time named “Song Number 2.” No description. It tastes like the first round one and I have no urge to sing. Not even hum.

There are five chocolates arranged in a circle around a large, spectacular chocolate (called Willy Wonka). We’ll come back to that large one in a minute. The five are each shaped like their names – “Noodle” (Calah Lane), “Abacus” (Jim Carter), “Piper” (Natasha Rothwell), “Bell” (Rakhee Thakrar), and “Chucklesworth” (Rich Fulcher). These uniquely shaped chocolates pair well with Willy Wonka. Aside from their shapes, there is little else of note about them, especially flavor, except Noodle. There is a bit of texture to Noodle’s insides, but not enough to matter.

This next one is painted like a badge and called “Key-stone Kop.” This delectable police chief (Keenan-Michael Key) will tickle your taste buds. It tastes is kind of funny. Not haha funny, but I-see-what-you-are-going-for-there amusing.

A third round one. Or sixth. I’ve lost count, I don’t bother reading the names, and they all taste the same. I think. It’s hard to remember what any of them tasted like.

The next one is was teased on the outside of the box. Called “Lofty” (Hugh Grant), it is colored orange and green. Lofty tastes like how we imagine an Oompa Loompa smells…delightful! Upon splitting open the candy, it smells like orange sherbet, but in a pompously British kind of way. The box was right – it is delightful. Too bad there isn’t more in the box.

There are two chocolates left. I save that big one for last, and pick up the one that has a book on it and is called “The Story.” Like the 3-Course Dinner chewing gum that turned Violet into a blueberry, The Story offers you a variety of flavors that perfectly complement each other. Upon examination of the chocolate, a couple of small holes reveal themselves. One is leaking chocolate syrup and part of the shell is really thin. Also, there’s a bizarre shaped appendage hanging off one side for no reason. I try not to think about the flaws and quickly eat it so I can get to the real reason I opened the box.

Finally, “Willy Wonka.” It’s beautiful. I just want to stare in its eyes forever. Willy Wonka is inspired by the original recipe we created in 1971. We poured our hearts and souls into getting Willy Wonka just right. All five of your senses will savor Willy Wonka or your money back. Confirmed. Rarely is anything as good or better than the original, but this Willy Wonka comes close.

Rating: Ask for three dollars back. Some it should be more memorable than it is.







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