What Happens When You Turn A Violent Dystopia Into A Tasty Treat?

A massive, highly mediated film event nowadays means the entire world is subjected to an absolute maelstrom of press and exposure. At points, we find ourselves wondering if a world ever existed pre-whatever big movie/album/global event is currently being shilled because it has become so ubiquitous. With intense publicity comes crazy tie-ins, oftentimes feeling, erm, a bit random or weirdly off-base.
The irony of The Hunger Games is that the tale is distinctly anti-capitalist and focuses on the inequity between the haves and have-nots. Of course, this doesn't make for super-great product tie-ins, but, hey, companies have gotta try, don't they? When we caught a sniff of the luxuriously boxed and assembled The Hunger Games: Catching Fire chocolates, we thought, why not?
Think about it: Chocolate is the great equalizer. Sure, die-hard fans can shell out big bucks for artisanal, handcrafted stuff, but a regular Hershey's bar costs a few coins. In this case, Wild Ophelia — a diffusion line from high-end choco-brand Vosges — created a chocolate bar library, using each of the 12 districts as taste inspirations. The bars are $4.99 each or $65 for the entire set.
We decided to do a blind test of each of these chocolate bars with some of our cocoa-savvy editors to see if the districts did indeed translate into taste. After informing them of all 12 districts, plus their specializations (Luxury, Masonry, Technology, Fishing, Power, Transportation, Lumber, Textiles, Grain, Livestock, Agriculture, and Mining), we asked each R29er to identify each flavor. Could a chocolate bar really communicate Masonry? What would Fishing taste like? Is it weird to eat fancy chocolate inspired by a movie with people starving? We investigate.
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Photo: Courtesy of Wild Ophelia.
District 1 — Luxury
Our beauty director, Annie, immediately suggested that this bar tasted like Grape Nuts, which was good, because she likes Grape Nuts. Neha, our executive editor, felt like this was reminiscent of a heath bar. Adjectives that our testers used were nutty, sweet, and oaky. Because of the earthy flavor of the bar, almost everyone picked this bar as being Grain, not Luxury. (Sorry, Careers, but you are easily substituted for the more plebeian District 9.)
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Photo: Courtesy of Wild Ophelia.
District 2 — Masonry
Our editors liked this, but thought it was a bit too sweet. The caramel was quite...present and overly sweet. Some said it felt rich, which made everyone decide it was Luxury. Except for staff writer Gabe, who said that it had to be Transportation, because it was "runny." Ew.
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Photo: Courtesy of Wild Ophelia.
District 3 — Technology
Everyone could tell that this tasted like coffee, and immediately suggested it was transportation, because, "You have to get up pretty early to transport." (No idea the reasoning there. Alas.) While our deputy editor Neha immediately guessed that it was Technology, most of our other tasters thought it was Power or Transportation, because those industries need a "zip."
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Photo: Courtesy of Wild Ophelia.
District 4 — Fishing
Everyone dreaded tasting the fishing chocolate, but the actual bar elicited very little response other than, "Oh. Dark." To be fair, this is the first one that we all sampled, which is evident because editors thought it could be Power, Textile, Luxury, Transport, and Masonry. No one, however, picked Fishing.
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Photo: Courtesy of Wild Ophelia.
District 5 — Power

While Fishing was the very first bar we sampled, Power was the very last, so our poor tastebuds were not at their strongest. No one guessed it correctly, but the majority of people believed it was either Masonry or Fishing. Because it was crispy, we guess, and so are fish...?
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Photo: Courtesy of Wild Ophelia.
District 6 — Transportation
Our beauty director, Annie, said, "Oh. Peanuts. I have literally no idea what that means." Apparently, the "runner" peanuts are what make this speedy and travel-like. Because of the peanuts, almost all of our editors decided this was Lumber.
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Photo: Courtesy of Wild Ophelia.
District 7 — Lumber
At first, this was just a straightforward chocolate bar, but at the end, it has a smoky surprise. ("It burns!" said our associate news editor, Seija.) Burning, to tasters, apparently translates into Power, not Lumber. Though events director Darin did guess that where there's smoke, there is kindling, and guessed correctly.
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Photo: Courtesy of Wild Ophelia.
District 8 — Textiles
Guess what? The Textile bar was, hands down, everyone's favorite. (Hey, we are a fashion site.) However, everyone was absolutely sure, across the board, that this bar belonged to Mining, because it was so dark in flavor (and it had stuff in it). Only beauty director Annie disagreed and said Luxury because it was so tasty.
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Photo: Courtesy of Wild Ophelia.
District 9 — Grain
The notes for this bar read as such: "Everyone falls quiet, seems confused. They do not care for it." In fact, Annie went so far as to make sure the note-taker wrote down that she hated it, and it made her very unhappy. A couple people seconded her notion. Editorial news assistant Hayden, Lexi, and Darin all identified this as Grain, but our Photo researcher Natasha and news associate editor Seija both thought it was Fishing because it was so gross.
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Photo: Courtesy of Wild Ophelia.
District 10 — Livestock
With smoked jerky, this was the easiest chocolate to identify. Editorial news assistant Hayden suggested that it tasted "like dog food," to which Gabe, our staff writer, responded, "I like it." Everyone guessed correctly.
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Photo: Courtesy of Wild Ophelia.
District 11 — Agriculture
Because of the actual bits of cherries in the chocolate, our team had no problem identifying this as the bar inspired by Agriculture. Except for staff writer Gabe and photo assistant Xenia, who weirdly had this pegged for Technology. (We think they were just being contrarian.)
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Photo: Courtesy of Wild Ophelia.
District 12 — Mining
Ah, yes, Katniss' very own district. It was another bar that our staff pretty adamantly didn't enjoy. Someone suggested it tasted like orange gasoline. However, Hayden said he was one of those people who likes the smell of gasoline, and he thought this was one of his favorites. Because of the gas-like flavor, our tasters were evenly divided between Power and Transportation. Makes sense.

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