Wednesday, September 05, 2012

A sigh of relief

Imagine if as a discerning designer you suddenly found that Helvetica had vanished from your font collection. A dire prospect. No longer can you rely on the type face which... like almost no other... allows simplicity and efficiency to go hand in hand with aesthetic pleasure.

Dear reader, there's a metaphor here...

The issue at hand is the vanishing from the shelves of local grocery stores of Dar-Vida crackers.

This is a product which, like Helvetica, is Swiss. For decades it has been a staple of my existence. Nowadays my daily meal on at least five evenings a week is cheese, biscuits and wine... the biscuits being the aforementioned Dar-Vida wholemeal crackers. Simplicity and efficiency to go hand in hand with aesthetic pleasure, yes. And they are extremely healthy, too. 

Ten days ago in my email to the customer service department of the manufacturer in Lucerne I declared myself prepared to order 24 of the packs illustrated above... enough for about a couple of months. No answer. I sent a similar missive to the German importer. Silence.

I was forced to consider alternatives.

Cream Crackers from my homeland... as classic as the Times typeface.?  Crumbs cascading onto my Kindle are not nice, and the damn things have strange fault lines which make them difficult the break efficiently into mouth-sized bites.

Vollkornbrot, the quintessentially German alternative? 'Wholewheat granary bread'  Tasty, nourishing but somehow as overwhelmingly Teutonic as the font Fraktur.

To cut a long (and slightly silly) story short, yesterday I found a cache of Dar-Vida crackers in a supermarket I do not normally patronize.

Imagine my relief. My evenings are once again harmonious, perfectly kerned, judiciously aligned.

My biggest fear was that I might be obliged to resort to the Comic Sans of bread baskets. 


Today on the 7th of September I have enjoyed an email exchange with the German company which has taken over the importing of Dar-Vida as of January of this year. It's called Delikatessen Berge and they started in business back in 1960 with just five products originating in Switzerland. Now they have 3,000 items on offer and an online shop.

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