Friday, October 8, 2010

Brazilian Chocolate Goes Architectural

Palácio da Alvorada, Brasília
Most certainly the most famous architect that Brazil has ever produced, and also one of the best-known 20th-century-modern architects in the world, Oscar Niemeyer is still going strong at the remarkable age of 102. His genius in creating the architectural design of Brazil's capital city, Brasília, built between 1956 and 1960, was recognized by UNESCO when it designated Brasília the newest place in the world worthy to be a World Heritage Site. The outlines and shapes of his monumental public buildings for Brasília are stamped on the Brazilian consciousness, and are as instantly recognizable for Brazilians as the shape of the Eiffel Tower is for the French, or the Sydney Opera House is for Australians. He has also worked extensively outside Brazil, where perhaps his most well-known work was as part of the team that created the UN Headquarters in New York City.

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.


  1. it is so beautiful but would you like to eat or save them? it is a difficult choice