“I sat in a field of shamrocks for a year, then ate some blackberries and talked to the local almonds and now I have all these points!”
~ Quote from a dream I had once.
The “Otherlanguage” of Sound
When asked how I come up with the flavor combinations for our chocolate confections, an enigmatic response arises. Sure, it may seem like a straight forward process, but truly, it is based upon a menagerie of ideas, concepts, and inspirations. I’ll start with the ‘name creating flavor’ approach.
“What is in a name? Would a rose by any other name smell less sweet?”
~ William Shakespeare via Juliet Capulet
It’s a rather quizzical and philosophical metaphor posed by Juliet, which makes for great romantic tragedy, but I have a feeling had Romeo been named Seymour Butts instead, he might not have shaped up to be the person he presented to Juliet on the night of their meeting. Nor would Juliet have been too eager to become Mrs. Seymour Butts.
You see, sounds carry information. And information does just what it says it does, it puts things “in formation”. It arranges circumstances and knowledge with imagery, giving way to a specific, definitive outcome. Certain arrangements of sounds, when uttered together, could convey to a listener anything and everything from confidence to mystery to humor to innocence. When was the last time you heard someone describe a food and said something like, “Oh that sounds delicious!” or “Ew, that sounds disgusting!” based solely on the sound of the word(s)?
It’s because the sounds carried forth information based on a plethora of perception. Now, some perceptions are more obvious than others, being that they are indeed from a relatively modern era and can be traced back to their origins. Still others come from a space seeming otherworldly and inexplicable. But we won’t go there for now. After all, in the art of naming confections for consumer appeal, one must remain harmonious with common contexts.
So where does this bring us? Close your eyes…. no wait… don’t close your eyes, you are reading and won’t be able to continue if you do. Okay, so… leave your eyes open… but allow your mind to drift freely when you read these next words and utter them aloud.
Now add the layer of knowledge that this is a collection of chocolates in a box. What might be in it if you were the creator? What combinations would convey these sounds into flavors? Or, even if you don’t want to get as involved as to dream up these tasty treats, just imagine if you were seeking a chocolate experience and happened upon an assortment by this name, without even looking at the contents, does your first instinct whisper, “You have got to try those!”?
Well, this is in fact one such variety of boxed chocolates whose name conveyed its contents. How does creamed honey with pure essential oil based flavors sound to you? That’s what they are.
Here’s where a clever someone might say, “But I don’t like honey”. To which my response would be, “That’s why I didn’t call them Honey Dreams.” To have called it Honey Dreams would have diluted the essence of the experience and made it finitely attached to a persons perception of honey.
“But wait!” you say, “I thought you named it first than came up with the combinations!” And I did, but it just so happens that these matters are sort of like Wonderland and somehow wind up being all inside-outsee and topsy-turvy. The name spoke of a delightful sweet, dream like experience, which was precisely how I felt the moment I tried creamed honey for the first time. Whisked away to dream land where all is divine! I just knew that sensation had to be enraptured by chocolate. And so it was.