We checked into our apartment rental in the heart of Amsterdam’s “centrum,” one of those where you walk up two flights of stairs to a quiet well-equipped home away from home. Once settled, we ventured out to explore the few blocks around us. There was a bakery, a cheese shop, a couple of wine shops, cafes, coffee shops (no, these are not the same as cafes, trust me!), and the winkels (grocery or supermarket in Dutch).
We have fun in any foreign city’s market. We like to see what the locals buy, how they buy, and what’s offered by these retailers. We also like to try local fare.
On one of the aisles, we came across Tony’s Chocolonely bars. They came in two sizes. What an unusual name for a chocolate bar. Did Tony name it for the lonely people who eat chocolate bars? Or, do people who eat an entire 200 gram bar feel lonely after? Who’s Tony anyway? Is there a different meaning in Dutch for the word “lonely?”
So, we turned over the package. There was a Fair Trade seal at the back. It turns out, the chocolate was borne out of someone’s need to ensure that the chocolate he’s eating was not bought from farmers who practiced slave labor, especially child labor. Ok, that’s noble, socially responsible, and it as succeeded in engaging our attention. (It has also made my salivary glands active in the last few minutes.). But it still does not explain the name to me.
Anyone out there know the explanation? I’ll wait. Or maybe I’ll open a bar just a little on one corner….