Venezuela, a country that is struggling to import food and keep its currency from falling to worthless lows, has just “minted” the world’s largest chocolate coin.
The candy money, made to look like a one bolivar coin, weighs a massive 870 kilos [1,900 pounds] and measures six feet in diameter. It was presented to the public Thursday during a cocoa industry conference in Caracas.
Organizers said they confectioned the chocolate coin to promote Venezuela’s centuries’ old cocoa industry, which exports about 9 thousand tons of cocoa beans each year, mostly to Europe and Japan.
But some Venezuelans could not help scoffing at the irony of the country with Latin America’s weakest currency endeavoring to make the world’s largest edible coin.
“The government’s true Guiness record is that a chocolate coin in Venezuela is worth more than [real] coins or bills in this country,” one Twitter user sniffed.
“In Venezuela a chocolate coin is worth more than any coin or bill that is currently circulating,” quipped Leonardo Leon, a journalist from the city of Merida.
These critics are not quite right, but they’re onto something.
A regular chocolate coin, which costs anywhere from 25 to 50 bolivares [$0.08] in Venezuela, is already worth more than most of the South American country’s bills, including the 2, 5, and 20 bolivar notes.
The country’s highest note, the 100 bolivar bill can only get you two to four chocolate coins.
This image shows the sweets you can afford with Venezuela’s weak bills. But this was in January, prices have gone up since.
Venezuela currently has the world’s highest inflation rate, and its currency is now four times weaker than it was at the beginning of this year when traded in the black market, which is where most Venezuelans have to get their dollars thanks to the country’s strict foreign exchange controls.
If Venezuela’s petro-dependent economy keeps on tanking, and the government doesn’t print higher denomination bills, it’s just a matter of time before chocolate coins are worth more than any of the country’s notes.