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When Rita was eleven chocolate was simple. She wanted it. Mom rationed it. She ate it. She felt good and went to play. A decade later she walked past the chocolatier store on the way to her Monday to Friday grind and she had her own money. She could go there twice daily and not even have to go out of her way. She wouldn't even miss the digits from her bank statement, she earned enough. Every day she paused outside the mullioned display window. The confectioner focused on a small selection of his repertoire on each week day. On Wednesdays there were pralines in caramel, white truffle and brazil-nuts all coated in the most decadent of chocolate layers, thick but still soft to bite. At first she resisted going in and felt guilty when she caved. But later chocolate became simple again. Now, in her late twenties, she is a regular and greeted each morning by name. She buys a single chocolate to savour with her latte, and in just that moment she is a child again and her worries dissipate.
There is something in the dark brown sweet I had always found beautiful. The way it glistened when it melted. The way it crumbled when it was hard. It was exotic; made from a far grown coco bean. In my mouth it turned to liquid and let me discover new pleasure. Once it was finished, all eaten, my heart ached for more. I was in love with chocolate more than I had ever been before.
The chocolate was about as welcome as swine flu. It sat on the counter and stared at her cooly from it's festive box. At first she shoved it behind the computer monitor and tried to ignore it. She was a desk-jockey, not an athlete, and she was fighting a loosing battle against her expanding waistline. Yet the cocoa powdered perfection called to her seductively, promising moments of bliss that would melt on her tongue. She began to justify eating them; it would be rude not to, they are expensive, it was a gift, you deserve them. By the time she had been for her morning break and returned with coffee she reached for them automatically, her higher thinking muted. After just one she hastily put the lid back on and returned them to their hiding spot. But even before the first one had completely melted she was reaching for the box again. Whilst savouring the next one she buried the box in the trash. In less than thirty seconds she had fished it out and all pretences gone she devoured them.
The chocolate is as solid as the lake-ice under our feet, but it's all we have. As our boots kick through the snow that has settled in the night all any of us can do is suck on the bars and let it be melted by our body heat. There is no question of biting it, a broken tooth out here would turn this wintry adventure into something tortuous. The sugar sends heat through our bodies and makes our brains more alert. It is something sweet and luxurious in the midst of this picture postcard beautiful landscape that feeds our souls but punishes our bodies.
Placed in the mouth, the silky-smooth texture that comes forth brings nothing but pure bliss. The plausible taste of true love, the perfect mix of bitter and sweet with a tinge of mint is pure luxury. Made with cakes and pastries, it adds an extra slice of heaven to every bite.