News / USA

Maryland Shop Cooks Up Chocolate Vote

Maryland Shop Cooks Up Chocolate Votei
|| 0:00:00
X
Faiza Elmasry
October 19, 2012 2:45 PM
On Election Day, Nov. 6, millions of Americans will cast their vote for either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney for U.S President. But a chocolate shop in Frederick, Maryland, is giving customers a chance to vote ahead of time. VOA's Faiza Elmasry tells us more about The Perfect Truffle’s chocolate campaign.

Maryland Shop Cooks Up Chocolate Vote

Faiza Elmasry
— On Election Day, Nov. 6, millions of Americans will cast their vote for either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney for U.S President.

But The Perfect Truffle, a chocolate shop in Frederick, Maryland, is giving customers an opportunity to vote ahead of time.

Making chocolate is chef Randy Olmstead’s specialty and passion. And this election season, he has cooked up something special for his customers: a political truffle campaign. He came up with the idea during the 2008 presidential election, to see which candidate would get the chocolate vote.

“We had our very first African-American candidate and it was a situation which I wanted to be part of, because it was historic for our country,"  Olmstead says. "So what we started doing, let’s find out how people really feel and what better way than to create a Democratic chocolate and a Republican chocolate?”

The Democratic truffle has a donkey on its dark chocolate shell; the Republican truffle has an elephant - the emblems of the two major U.S. political parties. Democratic truffles are on the left side of the display case, Republican truffles to the right, with a narrow aisle between them.

Olmstead is often surprised by his customers’ reactions to his political chocolate.

“We'll have a person come in, buys some Democratic chocolates and the person standing behind him will come and go, ‘How many did they just buy?’ ‘They just bought four.’ ‘OK, give me eight of the other party.'”

Frederick is a conservative small town in Maryland, a state which usually elects Democrats.

“We’re in a district, within our House of Representatives, in which we’ve had a Republican representative now for many, many terms,"  Olmstead says. "So there is a kind of split.”

His customers reflect that split. Often, he says, his truffle campaign sparks political discussions among them about the campaign and the issues.

“Sometimes people don’t talk about them with their neighbors because they get emotional about it. It can cause rifts, if two people are extremely different in their viewpoints, and you live next to that person, sometimes you're a little wary of doing that. But to walk in here and then see the political chocolate, they go, 'Oh, I need one of those Democratics,' or 'Oh, I need a Republican.'"  

Melissa Buckman, a regular customer, likes the truffle campaign. She points out that chocolate is a bipartisan favorite.

“You can meet up in a chocolate store and start talking politics, I thought that’s a pretty neat idea,” she says. “A lot of people have bad feelings towards each other. It gets really personal. So I think this is just a fun way to kind of make amends with each other and say, 'hey, let's go vote at the chocolate shop!'”

Tim Eichelberger, who learned about the campaign online, savors the taste of chocolate and democracy.

“We can all come together, cast our vote and eat chocolate - to me, it’s an excellent way to celebrate the election," he says. "And it is something to celebrate, understanding that there are still people who struggle with the right to vote. So we just have it so readily here, it’s absolutely something to be celebrated, and this is a perfect way to do it.”

Olmstead keeps an unofficial vote count.

“Our numbers as of right now: the Democrats are ahead, 178 votes to 146 votes," he says. "And if my math is correct, people can check that, the Democrats are 55 percent of the total vote. This is not scientific at all. You walk in. We take a pen. We do a check mark.”

The numbers are constantly changing. Each Tuesday through election day, updates will be posted on the store’s website. Olmstead hopes his campaign will help raise political participation, and sales of chocolate.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: J.L.Lee from: Oregon
October 22, 2012 6:55 PM
Don't buy the republican ones, they are hollow like their candidate for President and VP. Just a lot of air!.


by: Joke from: China
October 20, 2012 9:13 AM
It is a clever way to make money in an election.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid