The Meaning of Chocolate

Wednesday August 4, 2021

I have been told, and I’m sure it’s true, that there are some people who don’t like chocolate.

I’ve never actually met any of them myself, but I have no reason to doubt it. Unlikely though it seems, some people just don’t care for the stuff.

Most of us do, don’t we?

In fact, most of us have a favourite brand.

In the UK, our most well-known brand is Cadbury. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk is possibly the most famous chocolate bar in the world, although my American cousins may disagree. I believe you have something called Hershey’s. I tasted it. I don’t want to insult anyone, so I will just say it isn’t like Cadbury’s.

The Europeans, of course, look down their noses at Cadbury. Their chocolate, they say, is far superior. If you want good chocolate, then you must try Lindt, or Ritter Sport.

And all this is before you get into the gourmet brands.

Just around the corner from me is the Hotel Chocolat factory. Chocolate here is turned into an art-form and receiving one of their “Winter Puddings” selection boxes at Christmas is a sybaritic delight.

But back to Cadbury. How many of us remember the series of advertisements featuring a James Bond-like figure, dressed all in black, performing great feats of daring just to leave a box of chocolates on a woman’s pillow? “All because the lady loves Milk Tray…” For me that advert was the epitome of romance. And, in my years before that, the Milky Bar Kid was the boy of my dreams.

Everyone in my family loves chocolate, but we all like different brands. My husband is a Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut man, my younger daughter prefers the smoother Galaxy, while my elder daughter — Philistine that she is — says she can’t tell the difference and will I just get her the cheapest! I am the chocolate snob because I like it dark; the darker the better.

All this proves, as if proof were needed, that not all chocolate is created equal. Certainly not all price points are created equal.

Standing in the supermarket the other day, I was debating this point. The chocolate section is at the end of an aisle. The more expensive brands with interesting flavours are on the top rows, with descending price points to floor level and the value brand featuring milk, dark and white only.

I thought about the reasons we all choose a different chocolate and what that chocolate means to us. It’s more than just a sweet treat; it is comfort and romance; the feeling of being indulged and of being indulgent.

In the end, I bought the standard bars of chocolate for everyone as I always do. I didn’t go for “Spiced Ginger,” for myself, tempting though it was. The store brand 85% is just as good as Lindt and half the price.

I like indulgence as much as the next girl but I don’t want to get carried away. Not at least, until next Christmas!

A Moodscope member.

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