Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chocolate Spruengli Rolls Over

Does chocolate cause acne? No. It causes death.

Rudolph R. Spruengli, heir to a Swiss chocolate empire and head of the world-renowned Lindt & Spruengli business for more than two decades, has died at the age of 88, his company said Wednesday.

"I always had the impression that my ancestors were looking over my shoulder and that motivated me my whole life long," he told the Zurich newspaper Tagesanzeiger in an interview to mark his 80th birthday.

Widely dubbed "the chocolate king" and the "patriarch" because of his autocratic style, Spruengli also had a reputation for fending off potential challenges to his supremacy from other family members -- including from his own two sons, Luzius and Rudolf.

"The firm is more important than the family," he once declared.
They say that "[d]uring his conquest of Mexico, Cortez found the Aztec Indians using cocoa beans in the preparation of the royal drink of the realm, "chocolatl", meaning warm liquid. In 1519, Emperor Montezuma, who reportedly drank 50 or more portions daily, served chocolatl to his Spanish guests in great golden goblets, treating it like a food for the gods."

Now when Spruengli eats his chocolate he quite literally has both the gods and his ancestors looking over his shoulder.

[FOX Business]

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