Sunday, May 24, 2009


Swiss Chocolates
A happy assortment of Lindt chocolates.

Guilty pleasures are those which we enjoy apologetically... as if to say, “I shouldn’t really be enjoying this, but I do.” Watching American Idol, daytime soap operas, public executions; gaping at highway fatalities; and smelling one’s own farts fall into the Guilty Pleasure category - for some people, at least.

And then there’s Chocolate.

If I feel any guilt whatsoever as regards my enjoyment of chocolate, it’s purely a function of the unnecessary calories involved. But I make no apologies. I love chocolate.

As a young Snot-Nose, I was a devotee of the Hershey bar - who wasn’t? - as well as of the fine products of Nestlé. When we would visit the Grand-’Rents, they would sometimes trot out boxes of Barton or Barricini filled chocolates - the kosher-for-Passover alternative to the Whitman sampler. And I liked Russell Stover as much as I liked Smokey Stover.

Over time, my chocolatey experiences broadened. The fine chocolates of Europe beckoned: Godiva (the real stuff from Belgium), Corné Toison d’Or, Neuhaus, and Leonidas. I fell in love with Brussels, a city with chocolate shops on (seemingly) every corner. And twenty years ago, during my first trip to Switzerland, I discovered that the Swiss reputation for being among the world’s foremost chocolatiers was completely justified. (I’m convinced that they export their seconds and keep the really good stuff at home.)

These days, I’m partial to Lindt. That’s both fortunate and unfortunate, because I can get a Lindt fix simply by driving a few miles to the local Mighty Meaty Mega Mall. But I’m not overly picky. Hell, I’ll even condescend to eat a Hershey bar, despite its slightly off-putting sour milk pong. After all, that’s one of the flavors I grew up with.

About the only chocolate I cannot bring myself to eat is this:


I’m not sure if was a mark of genius or of Monumental Bad Taste to come up with a hunk of chocolate molded into the likeness of the first American president for whom chocolate is the perfect sculptural medium... but when I first saw these in the Baltimore airport a few months ago, I almost hurt myself laughing.

Get ’em here, if you are so inclined. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking pissing off Republicans!

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