While the world waits on the results of the US presidential elections, it’s a good time for some sweet reflections.
My name is Dennis and I’m a chocoholic. For that reason, I need to be really careful around chocolate products. I can find them irresistible.
However, I do not like chocolate in baked goods. There. My wife, please note 😂❤️🤔
Jamaican friends fled the UK lockdown and came back to Jamaica on Wednesday evening, with a little plastic bag for me that contained a selection of English goodies. I did not know what, precisely. When I opened it, nothing but joy flawed. I’d had one request (for me and a friend)—Nestle’s ‘Rolo’; I got two packets of 4 rolls each. (One packet is for a friend who asked if I could arrange a ‘care package’ for her. ❤️ 🏌🏼)
Rolos are ‘roll-styled chocolates, is a brand of truncated cone-shaped or conical frustum-shaped chocolates with a caramel middle. First manufactured in the United Kingdom by Mackintosh’s in 1937’ according to the official website. 👍🏾🇬🇧
It got me thinking about a whole life with English chocolate, from my childhood, through adulthood, from living in Britain to living abroad and visiting the UK periodically and re-engaging my taste buds and restocking for some later enjoyment and a suitcase filled with favourites.
Part of the joy comes from what memories they also evoke, sometimes of commercials and reflections on life between 1961-90. British ads are great and many stick in the mind, such as that for Maltesers:
I love Cadbury’s chocolates, and though I have enjoyed other brands, they are the best. Swiss and Belgian are great but…
As a small boy in England, one place I could go alone or with friends was to the ‘sweet shop’, which back in the 1960s was a place filled with jars of boiled sweets as well as chocolates. I could write another post about all the wonderful things in jars. Heaven to the eyes and taste buds; sweets and sours; chewy and brittle; brightly coloured. Sinful! 🙂
Every now and then I come across a shop in England trying to recreate the old-style sweet shop or its market cousin of sweets sold on a cart.
We children could sit and share chocolates and other sweets and the fun was that, even with what were the few pennies in our pockets or hands (in the days of pounds, shillings and pence), we could expand our choices by buying different things and sharing.
Much has changed in how the products are marketed, wrapped and even some shifts in recipes, but the image below shows how most of the bars looked in the 1960s. My mind is locked on those visualizations.
For a child, what could be better than seeing your peers in a commercial and the Milky Bar kid was the epitome of that in the 1960s and 1970s—even a black child could relate to a white bespectacled boy with blond hair 🙂 :
When I used to travel on missions, I’d pick up chocolate en route in duty free, often in London, usually a few different bars of Cadbury’s chocolate. It was my emergency ‘medication’ if things got tough.
When I travel nowadays for pleasure, I bring back a selection and then battles rage as my teenage daughter starts to wolf them.
Back in the day, I had some go-to favourites besides chocolate bars. I loved Aero, flavoured and with air bubbles. I adored Picnic, filled with peanuts and caramel. A Kit-Kat was always fun because a finger was often enough.
Then, special times meant boxes and tins of chocolates, eg Roses at Christmas.
If good things from the past were so easily touched by access to joyful things imagine how happy we could be. Time machine designers? Get your fingers out!
As anxieties rise during the presidential counts, I’d not be surprised to read that consumption and sales of chocolate have risen.