The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

For weeks, we’ve been meaning to call into the Makana Chocolate Factory. At least, I’VE been meaning to call in and coerce Husband to accompany me all the time bitterly contemplating why it should be necessary to apply force to get anyone into a CHOCOLATE FACTORY! With FREE SAMPLES!!! As stated on the flyer I’d picked up in some gift shop or other.

The factory was practically on our way into Blenheim; a small detour, at least according to the (same) flyer. The map implied the factory was just off the SH1, about three car lengths along Rapaura Road just before the next left turn.

This turned out to be somewhat erroneous and would still have been misleading even had the map stated ‘not to scale’. We were looking for a U-turn about 3km down Rapaura Road when we came upon the factory.

Our plan was a ruthless hit-and-run, the objective to ensure the FREE SAMPLES!!! were as plural as possible without resorting to blatant theft.

We got off to a promising start: a FREE SAMPLE!!! of macadamia butter toffee crunch and a citrus jelly square. After snorting that down, we prowled around the gift shop.

“If there’s anything you’d like to taste, just let me know,” said the saleswoman.

Score! I thought, I OWN her.

In fact, although she looked deceptively mild, she was cunning  and remorseless. I underestimated her. The hunter became the hunted. There’s a famous book that I can’t remember the title of but it begins with ‘D’ (possibly vaguely biblical, three-four syllables), where the protagonist’s family is slaughtered and he exacts terrible retribution upon their executioners, and it was totally like that, but only a little bit.

I made a rookie mistake – no, actually two: I MADE EYE CONTACT and then – even worse – INITIATED CONVERSATION.

I know, I know.

After establishing that business was humming due to the factory’s location on the tourist wine trail, the saleswoman said:

“I can always tell, when customers walk in the door. Which ones will buy, and which are just mean, cheap, useless, freeloading time wasters.”

(I’m paraphrasing, but that’s roughly what I heard.)

“Really?” I said, “so which are we?”

“Oh, I couldn’t say.”

Of course, we bought two boxes of chocolates. I was determined either to a) prove her wrong and stick it to her; or b) justify the saleswoman’s initial favourable impression of us as thoughtful, generous, decent, unfreeloading customers.



Comments on: "Book, first letter ‘D’, four syllables" (10)

  1. Cian said:

    Love how you are calling her a bitch when you were on the hunt for free chocolate. Let’s be honest and admit that most chocolate in this part of the world is crap. In the two weeks we are here we have only found one decent chocolatier and I will not even get started on the price. I miss L’artisan du Chocolat in London. I used to think they were expensive. What an idiot I am…

  2. solartap said:

    If by “D”, you meant “T”, it could have been “Testament” by David Morrell. That is the same guy who wrote “First Blood”.

  3. deadlyjelly said:

    Cian – she was OFFERING free chocolate! Yet I can’t tell you how hard it was to wrestle the stuff out of her. I hate false advertising, it’s a pet hate of mine. Along with dogs that smell of perfume; it really gets to me.

    Solar – THAT’S THE ONE! I knew I could count on you. It actually came to me this morning at 5am – I sat bolt upright in the bed gasping, ‘Testament!’ and Husband got up and let the dog out. The whole experience was quite surreal.

    At least ‘D’ is in the phonetic vicinity of ‘T’ – I mean, who hasn’t mistaken ‘tent’ for ‘dent’? And vice versa? Exactly.


  4. JohnP said:

    I would agree that NZ chocolate is not of the quality in the UK and (especially) Belgium, but at Makana you can watch it being made and the low-level sales pitch does make it very difficult to walk out empty-handed. The packaging is quite seductive and the finished product is ideal as presents. Very cleverly situated in the middle of wine country. Not cheap, but…..

  5. Waitaminute – you were in a chocolate factory and all you looked at was the gift shop? What about the big steaming bubbling vats of brown deliciousness? What about the injection moulds and the big centrifuge thingy for making Smarties? What about the Oompa-Loompas?

    (Or is that what the Hunka was looking at while you were losing the battle of wits with the saleswoman?)

  6. By the way, I was thinking of The Count of Monte Cristo. That’s how old-fashioned I am.

  7. I just hate how dark chocolate kills the free radicals, but doesn’t harm the slave radicals. It’s just not fair!

  8. deadlyjelly said:

    Jeep – it wasn’t a low level sales pitch applied to us; I would describe it more as a psychologically manipulative subconscious assault that exploited the darkest, deepest fears I harbour of my own nature. I can never go there again (unless accompanied by a decoy patsy).

    Vet – I’m afraid the Oompa Loompas were disappointing, and the day we went they were making truffles which is of limited interest because I’m not a fan. However, I did omit descriptions of the vats of melted chocolate and the aroma that went with them, which was admittedly an oversight.

    MarkJ – how many times do I have to TELL YOU? Life’s not fair. In fact, sometimes it sucks. Remedy: lime, salt, tequila, repeat.


  9. Cian said:

    Bugger that anyway – We found a great truffle shop here in Melbourne and now you tell me that you are not a great fan. Back to square one with the present now. I might just have to get you UGG boots…

  10. deadlyjelly said:

    Taytos and your company – not necessarily in that order – are MORE THAN present enough. See you in two weeks!


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