The Chocolate-Loving Kid Inside of You
Close your eyes and think back to when you were a little kid. What was the chocolate treat that put an enormous smile on your face and seemed like the most delicious thing ever? For me, Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, Sno-Caps, and the little Andes Candies individually wrapped plain chocolates (not mint!!!) are all a part of my early chocolate story.
When I host chocolate tastings, I share with my guests something that they likely already know. The pleasures of taste are closely linked to our emotions and memories.
I can recall in my mouth the taste of each of those treats I just mentioned, but the flavors are also deeply embedded in my brain, and I’d even go so far as to say that they are imprinted on my soul.
When I breathe life into the Milano memory, I’m seven years-old again, joyfully sticking my hand in the foil-lined cookie pouch with my best friend to pull out a crinkly white paper bundle of oval chocolate sandwich deliciousness. Or I’m back in the lobby of Brooklyn College’s Gershwin Theater, surrounded by people who seemed older than ancient, being gifted a precious box of Sno-Caps during intermission while attending ballet performances with my parents who never kept candy in the house. And though I’ve learned not to store my fine chocolate in the refrigerator (except for my special temperature and humidity controlled wine fridge), if right now you offered me a cold Andes Candies chocolate (not mint!!!), I’d open the gold foil wrapper on the spot, and believe that the delectable treat had been handed to me by my grandma who kept a not-so-secret stash of them on the shelf of the Frigidaire’s door.
Part of my joy in savoring chocolate is associating its unique flavors with the magic of the moment, and then crystallizing the whole experience into a mental keepsake to treasure forever. My mom passed just before Thanksgiving nine years ago, and at this time of year, I like to reflect on all the beautiful Thanksgiving celebrations she made, complete with my favorite chocolate pudding pie in a Nilla Wafers crust, topped with the indulgence of homemade whipped cream. If, like me, you believe chocolate has the power to sprinkle a bit of fairy dust over past memories and those yet to be created, I have some inspiration for you in the Barometer collection…
This time of year is sweet and sometimes bittersweet for many. Please know that I am thinking of you and sending extra love if the holidays are tinged with sadness or loss. For our family, this will be the first Christmas without my father-in-law, who passed in October. Our family will be celebrating the happy memories of both “Grandmom and Grandpop” as we are missing them. I’m consciously holding the beautiful moments even closer to my heart and savoring them like the finest squares of dark chocolate.
As always, I am so grateful for you, my chocolate community, who makes doing this work a total pleasure. This holiday season, I’ll be inviting my Milano-loving, Sno-Cap-savoring, Andes-Candies-remembering child within to fill your lives with memorable chocolate this holiday season, and if you’re so inclined, reach out and let me know what was your favorite chocolate treat when you were a kid!