I spent Boxing Day in London with some of my favourite things: my family and my debit card. I did some serious damage to one and got something interesting from the other. At one point, the conversation turned to my blog, and they requested that I express my expertise on a particular topic. Which leads me here, to a post about chocolate.
In October, I started working in a chocolate shop to keep me out of trouble whilst I’m back in the UK. Sadly, it’s just a pop up and my time doing many people’s dream job ends imminently. It’s been hard work: readjusting to working indoors under fluorescent lighting as opposed to outside; training a team – some of whom have never worked in retail previously – and learning about the range of products myself, all whilst on the run in to Christmas; introducing a brand to a new market. There have been many more challenges, but it has been fun too: I’ve learned a lot about myself, possibly exorcised a ghost, created some very satisfied customers and perhaps found myself a better opportunity along the way.
It was my sister’s idea that I create this post in the style of my previous post about fragrance. I’ve adapted it slightly, because I didn’t just want this to be an advert for the brand I’ve been working for, but I hope this satisfies at least my family’s desire…
This is my guide to the sweet products to suit your mood (they work for me, anyway):
- Buttons – a failsafe, these are my chocolate comfort food. The brand I’ve been working for make giant ones, rather than child-sized ones (they’re more the size of a 50p piece or a Quarter, rather than a 20p/Nickel or Dime). Despite the increased size, I find it difficult to ration myself when it comes to these… except when I know I can’t get more. When I was away in the US last summer, a package arrived one day containing a bag of my favourite buttons. They lasted me for weeks – as it was so hot at the time, I kept them in the fridge and snuck a few occasionally after dinner, savouring the chocolate as it melted on my tongue whilst I sat with the door open and the sun setting, listening to the nearby horses chomp and stamp as they settled down for the night
- Hot chocolate – I’ve had quite a lot of this recently. It’s another comfort thing, but the way my shop sells it, it’s also an indulgence. I’m forever spoiled, as it’s not a sugary powder, but pure grated chocolate, to be mixed with warm milk. Mint is my favourite variety, and along with the ritual of making it, cradling the mug in my hands and sipping the end product, it helps to soothe me (for the record, a bath and a glass of wine also tend to do the trick)
- Bars – the classic way of consuming chocolate. I remember as a child thinking that standard chocolate bars were plain (I enjoyed ones with caramel centres, or honeycomb, biscuit or wafer – anything with texture). Now, they’re something I can lose myself in very happily. I tend to reach for a bar these days if it’s heartbreak I’m feeling (whatever the source!). The wrapper gets peeled back, block after block disappears and I think through whatever’s in my mind. When I get to the end, I may feel a little sick, but I generally feel a lot better, ready to put my best foot forward (if nothing else to burn some of what I’ve consumed off) and move on
- Truffles – one of my favourite types, and something I talk about far too much are truffles. I could be here all day with this one. I’ve always loved them, the soft middles, coated by a hard and sometimes decorated shell. Perhaps I see myself as a truffle! They’re an indulgent treat to be savoured and enjoyed, in my opinion. Indeed, I bought two of my favourite boxes at work a few weeks ago, kept them carefully out of reach and finally opened one box this week. I sorted them according to which are my favourite, and that variety is being kept until last. I’m slowly and steadily enjoying every delicious bite
- Geranium – this is the curve ball. I didn’t want to try geranium – it’s likened in flavour to Turkish Delight, which I can’t stand – but I had to. Yes, I was forced! And I haven’t looked back. I was pleasantly surprised. And also annoyed – I’m now pretty hooked, which is terrible given that I already had more than enough vices. The flavour is definitely not something you can get in every shop, and it makes me feel strangely grown up
I’m working my way through a small mountain of sweet treats I received for Christmas. There’s quite a variety, from snack-types to truffles. I’ve got a system in place (that should surprise nobody) and, although I’ve picked favourites already, I’ll enjoy every bit.