Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!

It’s the day after Easter and you know what that means: chocolate is on sale! Peeps are on sale! Everything delicious is on sale, and it’s time to buy it all up! We thought we’d inspire you to be a little naughty and indulge in all the sugary goodness by showcasing some chocolatey puzzles. Mmm!

Chocolate Overload by Ravensburger. 300 pieces.

Talk about chocolate overload! From Chocolate Unwrapped:

1. The first recorded “Death by Chocolate” case occurred in the 17th Century in Chiapas, Mexico.  Upper class Spaniards were so addicted to chocolate that they refused to adhere to a church dictated chocolate ban that forbade them from eating or drinking any food during the church services.  As a result, the people of the town refused not only listen to the ban but chose to attend worship services in convents instead.  The Bishop who passed the law was later found dead due to poison being mixed into his daily cup of chocolate.

Chocolate Sensation by Springbok. 400 pieces.

While the Swiss consume the most chocolate, Americans make the most chocolate. Each American eats about 22 pounds of candy or chocolate a year. That makes 2.8 billion pounds annually! As of 2006, consumers spent $7,000,000 every year on chocolate alone.

Death by Chocolate by Ravensburger. 1000 pieces.

92% of Americans prefer milk chocolate, but dark chocolate’s popularity is growing rapidly, possibly because dark chocolate is considered a more healthy treat. Dark chocolate has more flavonoids than any other food. It has been found to improve blood pressure, prevent blood clots, slow the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (making it less likely to stick to artery walls) and reduce inflammation. It’s thought that eating a few squares every day can reduce the risk of a heart attack by up to 10%.

Melts in the Mouth by Master Pieces. 500 pieces.

See’s Candies boasts that milk chocolate, and specifically milk chocolate bordeaux are the most popular of their candies. See’s Milk BordeauxTM is a blend of creamy brown sugar covered in milk chocolate and decorated with chocolate rice. But America’s favorite chocolate brand is Snickers. The unit sales are 407,409,600 which brings in about $424,112,200. Wow!

Chocolates by Eurographics. 1000 pieces.

Which filling of chocolate do you like best? Well, whatever it is, you owe a big thanks to Swiss Confectioner Jules Sechaud. In 1913 he invented a process to allow chocolates to have those unique fillings.

Chocoholic by Master Pieces. 500 pieces.

Gene Wilder stated that about 1/3 of the objects in the Chocolate Room in the 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory were edible! However, most of the chocolate bars in the film were actually made of wood, except for that famous chocolate river, which was a real mixture of chocolate, water, and cream. Unfortunately, it spoiled fairly quickly and left an awful smell.

 

Puzzles for Fitzgerald Aficionados

If you are anything like me, you can’t wait for Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby coming out this May, even though historically they have failed. The Great Gatsby has a double charm—it’s an American classic, but it’s also adored by the average reader. It’s going to be a challenge to turn the introspective book into a successful movie, but let’s keep our fingers crossed and our hopes up. Here are some puzzles that I think Fitzgerald might like to do during breaks from writing if he were alive today. Here’s hoping he’ll also like the new take on his novel.

Martini Rossi Vermouth Bianco by Euro Graphics. $15.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 19.25” x 26.5”.

Afternoon Stroll by Clementoni. $15.99. 1000 Pieces. Finished size: 26.5″ x 18.75″.

Beautiful Peacock Garden – House Beautiful by New York Puzzle Co. $16.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20” x 27”.

Beary Patch Park by Buffalo Games. $14.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20” x 27”.

Spirits of the World by Piatnik. $16.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.5” x 17.4”

Classics – Sammy’s Playground by Master Pieces. $10.99. 500 pieces. Finished size: 14″ x 19″.

 

And a product that our girl golfer, Jordan Baker, from Gatsby might have liked: some ladies’ golf bridge cards:

Ladies Golf Bridge Set. $16.99. Features two decks of bridge size playing cards and come in sturdy, beautifully made boxes.