By Debbie Rogers: I’m sat in the showroom of Cocosia, a boutique chocolate shop in Al Barsha and we are discussing chocolate and how it evokes memories. The term ‘my Christmas in Chocolate’ popped into my mind and as I started talking sweet chocolatey memories came popping back to me.
My Christmas in chocolate meant:
In the Run up to Christmas
Advent Calendars – 25 little windows to open, one a day and if we were lucky we got a small wrapped chocolate behind each window – occasionally the window was empty so I’m sure my brother or sister got to my calendar before me!
Christmas Tree Decorations – The tree would be full of foil wrapped hollow chocolate figurines hanging on string from the tree. Mum would describe them as ‘cheap chocolate’ but we loved finding them and eating them. On Christmas Eve, they would be replaced with a doze or so liqueur chocolates, enjoyed late on Christmas Eve.
The Christmas Stocking
There was always a Terry’s chocolate orange, in my stocking just waiting to be cracked open on Christmas morning. Originally it came with dark chocolate, then as times moved on and more flavours were developed I settled on a firm favourite the white chocolate orange one.
Chocolate as gifts were common, particular as we didn’t each much Chocolate during the reast of the year.
Typical presents included :
Matchmakers! Usually the orange flavour or mint. I’m told they launched a limited edition salted caramel one this year, wish I could get my hands on that!
A Selection box – containing 5 or 6 mini bars of our favourite chocolate – Mars Bars, Milky Bar, Milky Way, Snickers Bar, Curly Wurly,,, the stuff dreams are made of when you are a kid 🙂
As I got older the Selection box was replaced by Toffee slabs and a hammer (let the wrecking begin) Thorntons, moving onto continental ranges of ‘posh chocolates’ praline filled shells etc from Switzerland or Belgium.
A box of Cadbury Roses or Quality Street – always! we each had our favourites which were taken first. Mine was the big purple one, a caramel filled milk chocolate, but I was also fond of the chocolate covered toffee sticks and plain toffee disks which was good as these were often the last ones in the tin!
Maltesers – big family sized boxes of maltesers were often passed around between the neighbours as family gifts
After dinner mints – After Eights or occasionally Elizabeth Shaw mint thins to be enjoyed after Christmas Lunch and Boxing Day Lunch
Turkish Delight – either enrobed in chocolate in the form of a Fry’s turkish delight, or a plateful of sugar coated turkish delight squares.
Marzipan Fruit – not technically a chocolate, but something only in the house at Christmas.Not for me, but a firm favourite of my mum who only enjoyed them at Christmas time.
New Christmas Memories are being made
It’s 2017 now and my tastes have matured, albeit they are still linked to my childhood memories. My love of white chocolate continues, but I’m also partial to chocolate that is more artisanal in nature. The trip to Cocosia which prompted this post, sparked my taste buds to new heights as I sampled my way through some fantastic flavor combinations. Salted caramel is a big hit as are flavours reminiscent of my childhood – chocolate and orange, chocolate and mint, chocolate with praline, coffee, Turkish delight memories with rose scented chocolate, onto the more sophisticated truffles with match, or artisanal hand made chocolate bars. A Christmas tree made of chocolate, through to assorted chocolate hampers, there’s absolutely plenty to tempt taking me back to nostalgic memories and forward to discover new flavor combinations.
Love Chocolate? #ChocolateMeansCocosia.
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