Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bosco: Milk Chocolate

The Bosco candy company was founded in 1928 by a former physician living in Camden, New Jersey -- the county seat of Camden County, the death place of Walt Whitman, and home to much mayoral corruption and gang violence. Little is known about the Bosco company of candy manufacturers, except for the oft-repeated legend that the brand's signature chocolate syrup served as fake blood in the original shower scene in Psycho -- and even that is not quite known.

Three months ago, I was eating lunch at a restaurant around the corner from my apartment when a man in a pickle delivery truck pulled up alongside the curb and signaled to my gentleman companion, who then got up from our table and went to retrieve from this pickle deliveryman a bucket of retro chocolate for my enjoyment and potential review. This much I know.

Three months later, after many rounds of periodic (but limited) consumption, many instances of neglect (I have so much chocolate, and only so little time), and much unkind refrigeration, I had but three small squares remaining, and just this afternoon I have taken my butcher's knife to the remnants, chopped them down into a cascading pattern of chalky shards, and scraped every last bit into a silver bowl full of cookie dough. A repurposed antique.

Today Bosco makes an all-natural bar, which they probably did not feel the need to make -- or to market as such -- in 1928 -- although my guess is that in 1928, Bosco's milk chocolate bar was more natural than it is today. Who, after all, was baking with soy lecithin in 1928?

As mass-market milk chocolate bars go, this one is pretty good. It lacks that sour milk flavor that Hershey is known for -- and which, for the record, I have never found to be entirely unpleasant -- and has a nice, melty finish that betrays the high proportion of cocoa butter -- unusually high, I would guess, but I can't say for sure until those new nutrition labels come out with the graphic representation of ingredient proportions.

Until then. B.