Cacao is well worth the price Perspectives: Matthew Matlock

Staff Writer

The Pioneer Log, February 4, 2011

Features 9

Whether you eat chocolate for pleasure, work (don’t we wish?), because you’re stressed out, or to celebrate a special occasion, there is no doubt that it should be enjoyable. You may be well versed and studied in the ways of percentages and nutty, oaky hints, but perhaps you simply appreciate a true piece of chocolate, or a cup of serious hot cocoa. Regardless, if you are a lover of things cocoa, you should visit Cacao. I’d like to call Cacao a chocolate café: they have undeniably, delightfully delicious hot chocolate, a dense, strong version of hot cocoa known as drinking chocolate, and well-pulled espresso drinks. There’s also a small and excellent truffle counter. Cacao also carries chocolate bars of many flavors, textures, percentages, and origins. If you’re looking for something specific, or just need a chocolate fix, you will not leave unsatisfied. The staff at Cacao is extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and enthusiastic about what they do. Let’s be real: if I worked in a chocolate café, I’m pretty sure I’d be smiling all day too. Happily, these people are willing to provide samples. On a recent Saturday, I wandered in feeling bluesy and wishing for nothing more

than a dose of California sunshine. As it turns out, I self-medicated in the best of ways: chocolate can have similar effects to those of the most glorious San Francisco day. After drinking a shot of the “spicy” 76% drinking chocolate ($2), I was starting to feel better, but still couldn’t get the Oregon darkness off my mind. I happily described the types of chocolate I like best with one of the baristas, and was subsequently offered two samples: one of almond-pimentón dark and the other the tiniest piece of 100% cacao. I’ve eaten nibs before, and the 100% cacao sold in bulk at the People’s Co-op (also highly recommended), but this little morsel was on a plane of its own. About the size of a peanut, the chocolate sat on my tongue and slowly brought the most genuine of smiles to my face. The complexity of the flavors rushed through my mouth and the pure theobromine created a delightful surge of adrenaline through my body. If you’re looking for a tasty Valentine’s Day gift, if you need your spirits lifted, or just want to wait for the Raz inside, there are few better places to do so than Cacao. (Cacao’s second location is at the Heathman hotel, on Broadway and Salmon, within view of the Raz stop). Be warned: Cacao is a little spendy, but well worth the occasional splurge.

A weekly look into the thoughts of people within and outside Lewis & Clark
BY JULIA STEWART On Monday afternoon, I patiently waited inside my Subaru at the Waste Management site on NE 55th in the hopes of getting a chance to talk to one of the garbage men. They were easily identifiable in their bright neon-green long-sleeve shirts, with an empty lunch sack and steaming coffee in hand. It was around 2 p.m. when they started to clock out and exit the WM building in small clusters. Up before the sunrise and devoted to a behind-the-scenes profession, these men were now off to engage more directly with a society which owes them much more appreciation than they receive. The following interview is with Matthew Matlock, a man in his thirties with a tongue piercing, who has worked as a commercial garbage man for Waste Management for the past five to six years. He was introduced to the profession by his buddy who worked for WM and said that he was treated and paid well. The average garbage man makes $24,000 per year; Matlock takes pride in his job. Do you enjoy your job? Yes, actually I do. I like being outdoors. It’s also a really interesting process – from the curb to the truck to the sorting center, recycling facilities and landfill. What is the hardest part? For some people, it’s getting used to the grossness. You can tell a lot about someone by their garbage, it’s like someone’s car that way. Have you become more conscious of your own personal waste habits as a result of your job? Do recycle or compost? Yes, I do recycle and compost. It saves land. Has your job made you more cynical about trying to change America’s waste habits? Well, that’s a good question. It’s gonna be a long process. I can tell that there are improvements being made. I see some houses having more recycling bags. Also, you can tell where people live [by their garbage]. I
Opinions Editor

have also learned that a lot of people don’t care. There are rules about what you can and cannot recycle and we won’t pick it up if it will contaminate our loads. Do people tend to be respectful or not towards you? Not when we’re holding them up, like when we have to stop in the middle of the street and then they honk at us. But we have a job to do. What do you want readers to know about your job? That it’s important. Without us where would your garbage go? We’re also trying to improve the environment and we take pride in that. I want this world to be around for my kids’ kids. I also had a chance to talk to Jackie Lang, Waste Management’s Director of Communications. Lang was able to explain what happens when people recycle items that are non-recyclable, like a greasy pizza box, broken glass, or a plastic container that wasn’t well rinsed out. “We call this contamination,” said Lang, “and it has to be sorted by individuals and mechanically at the recycling sorting center. We have conveyor belts, screens, magnets and optical sorters. If something is dirty, Waste Management employees have to pull it off to go to the landfill. We promise the plastic, glass and paper processing companies that we will give them a clean assortILLUSTRATION BY KATE OWENS ment.” But there is a cost to this sorting process, reminded Lang. “What we want is to make recycling as efficient and cost-effective as possible.” What’s the next big challenge? Lang said food waste. “Currently there isn’t a company in Portland that collects food waste from homes or apartments.” Lang did, however, describe a pilot project currently in the works. It’s called The City of Portland Food Waste Pilot, a project enlisting the participation of 2,000 Portland residents to test various strategies for picking up food waste. “Portland is moving forward quickly,” were Lang’s encouraging words. The bottom line is 1) appreciate your garbage man (or woman) and 2) do the little extra work required – rinsing and sorting – to make Matlock’s job less dirty, and recycling more cost-effective.

Customers of Cacao leave satisfied by the wide range of chocolate and espressos. The helpful staff are always willing to help those less knowledgable of the chocolate world.


Brand new Saudi club arrives
Staff Writer

Around campus these days, greetings of Salam, Sabah Alkhair, and enchallah are getting to be just as common as a good old English hello. This is due to one of the fastest growing and most present groups of exchange students at the school. Thanks to a scholarship program known as the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission, a part of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Higher Education, many Saudi college students as well as post-graduates have the opportunity to come to the United States to study English. The number of Saudi students at Lewis & Clark has steadily grown over the years, and this year several Saudis decided that a club to promote understanding of Saudi culture and to help new Saudi students avoid culture shock in Portland was necessary. “Our goals are to provide assistance and guidance to new Saudi student arrivals to Portland and to plan activities to cater to Saudi students and their needs,” said founding member Khalid Almuhailib (AES). The club also plans to organize celebra-

tions for the traditional Muslim holidays of Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan fasting with a three day feast, and Eid AlAdha, a day that commemorates Abraham’s obedience to God. Both of these holidays take place in fall. For spring celebrations, the club plans to play a part in the muchanticipated International Fair on Saturday, Mar. 7. In addition to hosting some enticing events, the club hopes to participate in intramural sports and encourages its members to participate in many extracurricular activities as a way to assimilate into American culture. Through participation and communication with the greater LC community, the Saudi Club hopes to both learn and teach. “As the society needs you, you also need society. We Saudi Students would like to tell other people about our real culture and change some of the misunderstandings about Arabian and Muslim people.” For further information on the newly founded Saudi Club, contact Khalid at

Rocky Horror Trivia at Bookstore
Features Editor

Do the time warp and revive your knowledge of the ‘70s cult classic film “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The bookstore is sponsoring a trivia competition based on the movie to correspond with Valentine’s Day. From now until around Feb. 18 anyone can fill out the form in the bookstore conveniently placed on the counter next to the larger than life red lips and the Rocky Horror Picture Show trivia board game. Some of the questions are inspired by this game while others are bookstore specific but still Rocky-related. “The goal is to get students involved

and show them that the bookstore is a cool place,” said Terri Lee, the bookstore employee behind the holiday-themed competitions. The winner of the trivia competition will be given a choice of one of the new T-shirts in the bookstore’s spring inventory. Lee received positive feedback from the Turkey Hand Drawing competition during Thanksgiving. She wants to continue something surrounding most holidays, like the Pumpkin Carving competition in October. St. Patrick’s Day is the next holiday the bookstore will associate with a competition. These fun activities are a departure from the previous Barnes & Noble-operated bookstore.