When Football Met Chocolate…

3 Feb

There are few experiences that compare to watching the Super Bowl in Geneva until 4am and then eating a kilo (or twenty) of chocolate at 11am the next morning.

Enticed yet?

Last night, a bunch of us decided to go to a pub to watch the Super Bowl. As an incredibly dedicated, passionate, and informed football fan, I was really just excited to reacquaint myself with the art that is football. I couldn’t wait to analyze the plays and to see some touchdowns and to…

…Okay, let’s just stop this charade. I wanted nachos and beer, and I used the Super Bowl as an excuse to engage in both of these activities on a Sunday night.

Lucky for us, the game didn’t begin until 12:30am our time…which meant it wouldn’t end until about 4:30am our time…which meant I responsibly decided to go home at around 1:30am so I could get my eight hours of sleep…

And by that I mean I stayed until 4:30am and worked with my friend Selby to strategically wrangle free nachos and French fries from the chef in the kitchen.

(“Wrangle” is a loose term. It turns out that if you simply approach a chef who has been working on his feet since 6pm and ask, “DO YOU HAVE ANY FREE FOOD FOR US?” you’re likely to score some good stuff. Or to be kicked to the curb….I always keep snacks handy in case of the latter option.) 

Anyway, it was nearly 5am by the time we all got home and went to bed. Since breakfast is served until 9:30, we could either sleep for a maximum of four hours, or skip breakfast and sleep for longer.

Just kidding, skipping breakfast wasn’t even on the table.

So, as sleep deprived and delirious as we were, we managed to get some breakfast before heading out for our…CHOCOLATE TOUR.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: is there ever a bad time for a chocolate tour and chocolate samples?

No, there is not. There is however, a slightly bad and uncomfortable time for a chocolate tour and chocolate samples.

And that time is the morning after a beer and beef nachos tirade.

Upon entering the factory, we had to get dressed in protective smocks and sexy hairnets:


There’s really nothing like sweating it out in a plastic jumpsuit while simultaneously breathing into a mask and having your breath ricochet into your face. It’s an experience everyone should have at least once in life. 

Once we were suited up and ready, we were allowed to ender the Willy Wonka factory of Geneva. Oooh, aahhh.

Our “Willy Wonka” was a really nice chocolatier who knew that the way to engage an exhausted college student during a tour is to hand him/her an ENTIRE cup of pure, melted chocolate upon entry:


Everyone acted like, “Oh, this is SO rich” and “Ohhh I’ll NEVER be able to finish this!” I kind of nodded along, so as to fit in with my peers. But I knew I wouldn’t have any trouble finishing the entire thing. (I would, however, struggle to stop myself from inhaling the cup, as well.)

After our chocolate inauguration, our really nice and adorable guide continued to impress us with his chocolate making and student feeding abilities.

We got to eat these:


And these:


And also these:


I even got to be a special helper and to do a chocolate dipping demonstration!

A demonstration that was supposed to look like this:


 (Aahh, what finesse and grace.)

I didn’t quite have the same experience:


It turns out that dipping chocolate into more chocolate is not easy. The fork that Mr. Wonka gave me for dipping the hard chocolate into the melted chocolate was tiny; and, when combined with my exhausted, unsteady hands and the pressure of an audience, the process kind of fell apart.

I lost the hard chocolate in the melted chocolate, yelled, “Oh shit, I capsized!” tried to recover the chocolate, asked Mr. Wonka when I could “dismount,” and then continued to make a mess as I tried to recover from the situation.

An expected outcome, yet still slightly embarrassing because it just reinforced the fact that normal, human functioning does not come easily to me.

I did, however, manage to get us even even more chocolate samples when I innocently asked Mr. Wonka to name his favorite chocolate of all time. This strategy was a double-edged sword because, while the chocolate he let us sample in answering my question really was delicious, its consumption was also the difference between, “Wow, I’m full,” and, “Holy shit I swallowed a bowling ball and am now about to sink through the floor.”

That’s what I get for wrangling.

After the yummy part of the tour, Mr. Wonka brought us to the “educational corner” and taught us about the origins of cocoa beans and Swiss chocolate traditions.

He also let us taste cocoa butter, which, unbeknownst to me, is really not meant to be shoved into your face in abundant quantities. It is, in fact, PURE BUTTER, and eating it will make you feel like Paula Dean during a Christmas special.

After the tour, we all felt a little bit like this:


Sweaty, tired, and choco drunk.

We discussed walking home and taking in some fresh air.

But then we decided that we’ve all been a little bit too healthy lately, and that we wouldn’t want to overexert ourselves too much in our third week of being here.

So, we opted to take a boat back to our street (because “boat travel” is just a casual thing here in Geneva). 

Riding a boat after binge eating chocolate was really just the cherry on top of a nacho, chocolate, and beer sundae.

Mmmm I could go for one of those right about now.

Because when in Geneva, no combination of indulgences is a bad combination of indulgences.

…And just like that, the city of Geneva had a new slogan.

You’re welcome.


One Response to “When Football Met Chocolate…”

  1. Tim Clark February 7, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    That was entertaining, and funny. And I do love beer, nachos, and chocolate but was not overly fond of the Super Bowl.

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