|Oooh, yeah baby...|
Pin back your ears, lick your lips, I’m about to take you for a plunge into pure chocolate heaven….
“Never mind about 1066 William the Conqueror, 1087 William the Second. Such things are not going to affect one's life ... but 1932 the Mars Bar and 1936 Maltesers and 1937 the Kit Kat - these dates are milestones in history and should be seared into the memory of every child in the country.”
That’s what Roald Dahl reckoned, and you can’t deny the 30’s were a golden era. In fact, when you look into it, most of the chocolate we know and love today is getting on for 100 years old (and still hasn’t gone beyond the “best before” date!). In 1905 Cadburys launched the Dairy Milk bar, in 1908 came the Toblerone, Walnut Whips followed in 1910, then the Flake in 1920, in 1923 the Milky Way was born, Crunchie came about in 1929, 1930 saw the arrival of the Snickers (or if you’re a traditionalist, the Marathon!), Maltesers in 1936, and I was surprised to find out that Terry’s Chocolate Orange dates back to 1932…
And I suppose as the inventor of Mr Willy Wonka, it makes sense that Roald Dahl should know his stuff about chocolate. But I reckon we’re all Smartie-Pants (excuse the pun), when it comes to chocolate - I’d be amazed if you, dear reader, hadn’t sampled every single one of those chocolates I’ve mentioned and counted yourself a bit of a connoisseur. Ask anyone which they prefer: milk chocolate or plain, and they’ll have an answer for you before you can say “Twix”.
So, here’s the thing: over the last few years there’s been a bit of a chocolate “make over” - magazines tell us that we will be just as satisfied with a square or two of 90% cocoa solid organic chocolate as we would be with an entire Mars bar. That it’s better for us, and because it has more of a cocoa hit we won’t want as much. There’s even - pause for breath - chocolate with the sophistication of added chilli, or salt. Hmm. [presses lips together in slightly in-approving way…]
Well I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t hit the spot for me - on any level! If you’re the kind of person who likes the bitterest of bitter chocolate (not to be confused with plain chocolate, that’s lush) and looks down their nose at the sweet and sugary Cadburys type stuff - well I just don’t believe you. Sorry, no, don’t believe you. Pants definitely on fire. I reckon when you’re in a room, all on your own, you’d choose a bar of Dairy Milk! And anyway, you’re denying yourself two of the world’s greatest inventions: Munchies and Creme Eggs. Or if you still want to be sophisticated, help yourself to a Fry’s Peppermint Cream. We won’t think any less of you, promise.
Right, must dash, the sweet shop is calling my name… (but if you want to leave a comment and tell me what your favourite chocolate is, or indeed if you prefer milk or plain, go for it - we can wallow in chocolate together!)