A tasting set of Dandelion Chocolate comes in a bare-bones-yet-elegant paper box with an informational trifold inside. These chocolates have two ingredients: cacao and sugar, and are wrapped in thick, gold-embossed paper. Here’s the box with trifold:


The paper of the trifold is a recycled type, and the inks are ochre and a dark, chocolately brown. It looks like a modern version of a relic from Christopher Columbus’ days. The line drawing of the cacao pods looks hand-wrought with a quill, and the accent fonts of the numbers are like woodblock engravers’ faces:


On the back is a map showing where the chocolate in the set is sourced. It is clear, absolutely devoid of extraneous details. No compass, no latitude/longitude  lines, no markers for the tropics/equator, no city names, no rivers, not even any poles (no Antarctica). No mythical, not-to-scale sea creatures lurking in the oceans. No names of the oceans.


The magnifying windows are helpful (many, if not most, of us develop an unfortunate amnesia for global geography after graduating high school).


But the dotted lines pinpoint in a way that suggests a specific location within the country, which, given the magnified display, doesn’t seem to be an intended message. Lightly filling in the country of interest on the full map would eliminate that ambiguity.

But more importantly, it’s not clear what this map is for. Why do we need to know the sources of the chocolate? Is it to make a statement about the flavors? If so, would we benefit from a different diagram, one that allows enough space to show how the physical environment (climate, soil, etc.) and biotic factors (subspecies and varieties of the cacao plant, pollinator availability, etc.) affect flavor?

Or, is the map meant to make us feel like we are embarking on a global adventure when we taste each bar? If that’s the case, could we benefit from more map details to enhance that illusion?

Side report: If you like your chocolate dark and fancy, I’d recommend these. Browse the bars, the story behind them, and the fancy paper wrapping them over here.