“And everyday, as he came near to it, he would lift his small pointed nose in the air and sniff the wonderful sweet smell of melting chocolate. Sometimes he would stand motionless outside the gate for several minutes on end, taking deep swallowing breaths as though he were trying to eat the smell itself.”
Perhaps your earliest chocolate memory is not one of actually eating chocolate, but of having it described to you by Roald Dahl?
His world of ‘Chocolate waterfalls’, ‘lickable wallpaper’ and ‘cows that give chocolate milk’ creates an irresistible allure around the silky brown substance that sets children’s mouths salivating.
In fact- we’re introduced to Wonka’s chocolate kingdom at such a formative age, the book cements any juvenille choccy- intrigue into a life-long obsession.
If you weren’t introduced to chocolate via Roald Dahl, then perhaps jolly old Father Christmas made the introduction?
Solid chocolate coins at the bottom of Christmas stockings, bumper tins of Quality Streets and Roses, and boxes of thick chocolate biscuits laid out for the scoffing. Perhaps you remember standing beneath a towering tree and giving it a little shake to dislodge one of the chocolate fondant treats?
No doubt you remember plunging your little arm deep into a tin of Roses, and finding all the purple ‘hazelnut-caramels’ gobbled already by a greddy parent? The shiny, coloured wrappers gleaming, with the empties rolled into balls and a surplus of pale green, praline triangles at the bottom.
There’s a distinct ‘chocolate progression’ which takes place throughout life.
Playgroup is usually a time of chocolate buttons, popped into mouths and sucked until they disappeared. The kiddie sized bags just about the right size to make sure nobody was sick.
A humble ‘Cadbury’s fudge’ at the bottom of a party bag never goes amiss, or even a ‘Curly Whirly’.
Next is junior school- the Twix and KitKat lunchbox years. And do you remember the pleasingly chunky Caramel Rocky? There’s a funny time of life, between the ages of 5 and 9 when children delight in biting the chocolate off the sides of the biscuit, methodically, if not ritualistically, and leaving the best bit til last.
In high school, one graduates into the world of Toffee Crisps and Lion Bars; (a preference for each makes and divided friends) gnawing through the chewy, crackly layers made exams that bit more bearable. (If only we’d had chocolate classes back then!) And of course, Yorkies were a favourite among many, for who could resist such a jaw-stoppingly chunky bar?
Indeed chocolate follows us like a sweet and melty guardian. It’s the friend who doesn’t ask any questions, bringing comfort at times of need from earliest youth til death do us part.
Now if this trip down memory lane hasn’t got you in the mood for one of our chocolate classes then we suggest you go back and read some more Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!