So how was your Chocolate Festival? Did it melt your heart, the bits you left in your pocket, your cellulite?
Back in the days when I could fit through doorways and was working somewhere else, one of my colleagues kept a meticulous record of our birthdays – she was already pretty good on Easter and Christmas – and would leave boxes of chocolates on our desks when one of those days arrived.
We all just assumed that she loved us. But turns out her husband worked for a chocolate company and they were always looking for ways to offload surplus stock.
Offload away, we told her. The photo above shows what arrived on my desk one Easter – and I’m proud to say, as I wobbled/waddled home that night, I did share. Well, a bit of it. Well, at least a couple of them.
Although the religion I was born into doesn’t recognise chocolate as a holy spirit – unless there’s wine to follow – I’ve always thought it only fair to learn a little about those cultures that believe in the good things in life, like yoghurt, sourdough, chocolate – and hot cross buns. (You’d be cross too, if you were forever hot – no, not that sort of hot, we’re talking sweaty bits here).
One of my friends goes on a social media rant each Christmas Eve, when he spots the first hot cross bun in the supermarket. I think he just has a problem with the lack of decency when it comes to the amount of time between when the mince pies make a crumbly exit and the hot cross buns take over. Not a pretty sight.
Seems I was dreaming about that box of Easter eggs the other night when I woke up with a start. (Much rather have woken up with one of those marshmallow ones).
I had left the radio on and some bloke’s raucous laughter woke me. It was one of those overnight radio blokes who are always grumpy, probably because they never get to sleep.
He was talking to someone equally grumpy, probably because he too had to get out of bed at stupid o’clock to talk to an audience that probably wasn’t there. Anyway, they were discussing bad parenting and chocolate, so of course by then I was wide awake. At 3:37 am. (Yep, I know, nothing good ever happens at 3:37 am. Usually you have to wait until 3:38 am.)
The caller was a farmer and he was talking about how sick he was of his kids nagging him about where he (Easter Bunny) was going to hide said eggs. So he decided to chuck them in the hay bales in his shed.
We’re not talking lobbing a few lumps of chocolate in shiny paper on the ground within a child’s reach here. We’re talking under bales, between the biscuits, up so high no-one could ever find them – even if they were having a religious experience. Clearly a case of child abuse.
This stemmed from an earlier conversation, also on late-night radio, about how long you can leave an Easter egg before you should throw it out. Wait a minute. What? Throw it out? Why should the chocolate be left on the shelf just because the recipient wasn’t smart enough to eat it immediately? Just because it had been in the fridge since, er, last Easter?
My question? How come you didn’t do the polite thing and eat it when it was given to you in the first place?
Chocolate is for eating. That’s why it melts. To stop you from not eating it. You are, especially at Easter, morally and spiritually bound to scoff it down.
Stealing other people’s is not the best idea, unless they don’t see you do it. Borrowing it permanently is perfectly fine. Few folk will ask for it back after you’re done with it.
During the Chocolate Festival, you may have heard people talk about words like cacao and percentages, fats and solids. The words “componded chocolate” were also heard, but that was probably just in a nightmare. Nothing tasty ever comes from compounded chocolate.
I almost thought someone was trying to make chocolate out as being, well, not sweet, but it turns out I was wrong. The word percentage, at least in this context, was about how many, in a bag of solid Lindt eggs, you can jam in your mouth without looking unattractive. One, two ….. 57 ….