It’s a funny thing to miss, in the grand old scheme of things. I’ve left behind Queen, country, family, friends, memories, habits, culture, comedy… you name it, it’s back where I came from. But the human mind being a caring sort of sod – and greedy, in my case – it has chosen to focus its cravings on an arguably nonessential item: chocolate.
In England, chocolate is something we do with finesse. Aware that we are surrounded by countries with equal cocoa-based vigour (Switzerland and Belgium being, in my mind, lands entirely woven from strands of praline), we have absorbed the best of the best and created an empire of sugary wonder. We boast a chocolate treat for any kind of mood; a Curly Wurly for mischievous tendencies, a Cadbury’s Flake for sitting in a bath being sexy. We are replete with chocolatey options, to the extent that no one corner shop can stock them all.
I don’t really understand the confectionery aisles here yet. I am also highly suspicious of the cocoa content, having been pre-warned that chocolate just isn’t the same. It’s not. Or, well, it might be, but I have yet to decipher the wrappings. And there certainly isn’t a Thornton’s in our local town. I’ve located a Twix, but I never much liked those anyway.
What I would particularly like to get my sticky hands on is a Double Decker, or perhaps a Crunchie. I’d settle for a Yorkie Gold, or a Kit Kat Chunky, or, if pushed, a Galaxy Caramel. The choices over here seem more limited: if the warnings were correct, this would make sense. If they were not, then I need to do a more thorough job of choccie recon.
My saving grace: Milk Duds. My mum’s favourite treats, when I was little, were Chewing Nuts measured from the jar. Anyone else remember those? They were chewy, but inexplicably contained no nuts: instead, they had a defiant toffee centre that took several hours to gnaw through. Milk Duds are the Chewing Nut that a person with dentures would choose. They take a while to process, neither the chocolate nor the toffee alert my fine chocolatier’s senses and they come in a box somewhere between the British sizes more appropriately labelled as: “too small to bother” and “too big to explain away”.
I once scoffed seven Toffee Crisps in less than an hour and suffered no ill effects. I am able to produce testimony to this effect (assuming Jo remembers that fateful afternoon in Poole bus station). Milk Duds will tame the beast temporarily, but if I don’t get my hands on a box of Cadbury’s Roses or a bag of Minstrels soon, it’s possible I will enter meltdown.