Friday, December 11, 2009

Surely You Geste

What is more romantic or infamous than the French Foreign Legion? The desperate, the heart- broken, the criminal, all seeking a new start in the fabled fighting force, mercenaries for La France. When I think of the legion, I think of lines of marching soldiers in kepis with bleached white clothes shielding their necks, mud forts in the desert, German World War II veterans battling the Viet Minh and, of course, chocolate.

Chocolate? Well, maybe not back in the Beau Geste days, but this is the 21st century. Marketing is everything and even a venerable institution like the Foreign Legion has to keep up with the times.

The legion, like everyone, has a web site that includes a shop at which you can buy a variety of products, including wine made at a vineyard run by retired legionnaires and, yes, chocolate. It's a Whitman sampler for the military buff who has everything. The boxes have the legion's insignia superimposed with a white kepi on the inside of the box and come in three sizes.

I'm trying to imagine the individual candies: Algerian Mutiny Munch; Dien Bien Phu Delight; Nazi Nougat.

I understand that image is everything, but a military formation composed of scoundrels, criminals and mercenaries notorious for brutality and mutiny selling chocolate? I guess instead of "March or Die," it's "Market Yourself or Die."

What's next? Gambino crime family canolis? (We'll leave the gun. You take the canolis).

C'est bizarre.

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