Dispatch #5: Conguitos…Say What?

Greetings from Madrid, Spain.

The first stop this morning after dropping off my luggage at the hotel was to visit a food market to purchase bottled water. As is my custom when shopping in overseas food marts I browse the aisles for unusual food items or black themed food products for my kitchen collection at home. It didn’t take long for my eyes to glance down and see these thick red lips and brown body.

conguito1.jpg

Conguitos, roasted peanuts covered in chocolate, have been on the market for over 40 years. Their mascot, the Conguito, is a familiar and endearing character.

Due to evolution and the changing times, our mascot has also evolved and slightly changed in order to adapt to the present day. When the “Conguito” was born in the sixties the mascot was perceived as a tiny character covered in chocolate and it has slowly evolved and been updated.

In the year 2000, white Conguitos were born, covered with delicious white chocolate and the mascot was adapted to the new family member.
–from Conguitos website

White Conguitos—is that the confectionary equivalent of a “wigger”? My bullshit detector registered mild suspicion upon reading the phrase “endearing character” to describe Conguitos. Uh, huh, some folks thought the television characters J.J. on Good Times and Mr. T. on the A Team were endearing characters.

I visited another food store and I saw a different version of the mascot without thick red lips. I did ponder why the different versions—my curiosity led me to check out the manufacturer web page. Did you take note of the 40-year history of this product? What comes to your mind when you read the mascot has slowly evolved and been updated since the 60’s? Is this similar to the evolution of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, Rastus and Sambos Restaurants?

conguito2nd.jpg

Before anyone starts calling me Conspiracy Sister I suggest a review of the images in the photo galleries to connect the dots.
conguitos3.jpg
Oooo-tay!

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