The Swiss Chocolate Dilemma

Monday morning at the Pilatus factory, and time for a first world problem.

Its going to be a hot and humid day here again … and it will be all week. Very hot for Switzerland, and almost ‘Australia hot’ (ok, mid thirties…)

The locals really aren’t set up for this, with a historic tendency not to bother with air-conditioning in most buildings in this country as a result of the generally cool climate. All the buildings here have that wonderful European proper double glazing windows/doors with hermetically sealed edges… but they just aren’t set up for the opposite problem nearly as well.

Even the amazing (and quite beautiful) final assembly building at Pilatus, with the largest unsupported wooden span hall in Europe, built only about four years ago has no aircon, and today we’re all feeling it.

This segues nicely into … The Swiss Chocolate Dilemma.

Pilatus Australia has a shipment of swiss chocolate sitting here with their name on it, that somehow didn’t get sent earlier than this. There is a time issue here, because the ‘best before’ date on the shipment is the end of September – so if we don’t take them, they’ll likely go to waste (oh, the horror).

Ok, I’m thinking… that sounds easy. Just put them in the plane.

30 Kilograms of Pilatus branded Swiss Chocolate

Then I saw it… there are actually 20 cartons.

Each carton contains 10 x 150g gift boxes.

Individual Pilatus-labelled bundles of joy

Each box contains a tray of 12 individually wrapped chocolates.

Performing QA on a chocolate sample (‘Pass’)

Thats a total of 200 x 150g = 30 kilograms of swiss chocolate 🙂 [*]

Now I know why I bought a high performance turboprop aircraft with world beating load-carrying capacity…. Swiss Chocolate Shipments.

The practical issue is that heat. They are already getting a bit soft sitting in here, but on the way home we’ll be travelling through a lot of countries, with the two rest days especially being the challenge.

In both rest days (in India and Vietnam), the aircraft will get completely heat soaked during our rest days…. and the chocolate… oh dear…

What do do?

Well now… can’t not take any.

I can clearly take a small quantify of it (say, one carton, which is around the size of a shoe box) with me each night back to the hotel room in my carry-on bags, and keep it cool that way.

I suppose there may be some merit in using some during customs inspection for… well, lets use the word ‘inducement’, because ‘bribe’ sounds very gauche.

This, then, is the Swiss Chocolate Dilemma. How much of it do we take with us of this shipment, that will get heat-stressed on the plane, versus leaving it behind entirely?

[*] Actually, by the end of today, there will likely be 150g less to worry about shipping to Australia. Pete and I are doing some more QA on one tray, once we’ve cooled it down a bit in a drinks fridge…