|Palácio da Alvorada, Brasília|
Although he no longer designs buildings, Sr. Niemeyer isn't vegetating during his "retirement." His eye for design is still wickedly strong, and he has recently designed such things as T-shirts for Rio de Janeiro's Carnaval band, Banda de Ipanema and pieces of furniture created from molded wood.
Recently, his latest project was announced in newspapers throughout the country. It's being reported here at Flavors of Brazil because Niemeyer has now extended his designs beyond furniture and clothes into the world of gastronomy. For the gastronomic boutique Aquim in Rio de Janeiro's tony Ipanema district he has designed a chocolate bar which echoes the distinct curves of his architectural work.
The chocolate is called, simply, Q. It is a purely Brazilian product made with chocolate from the city of Ilhéus, in the state of Bahia, with the addition of selected almonds. The chocolate is sold in a specially designed tasting-box which contains three bars of chocolate plus 42 individual chocolates in six strengths ranging from 30% to 70% cacau. Only those who have bought the box will be able to have it refilled at the store, according to Aquim .
I've no idea how Q tastes, but I imagine it must be heavenly. I do know for certain though, that it's the most beautiful chocolate bar I've ever seen. Let's hope that Sr. Niemeyer continues designing new products well into "old age." At 102, he should be an inspiration to all of us.