I am addicted to chocolate. I don't mean that I just like to eat chocolate, I have to eat chocolate. There is no twelve step program, there are no support groups but I know it is genetic. My mother is also addicted to chocolate as are two of my six little nieces. Sometimes the four of us sit around the kitchen table in silence eating chocolate. I am the enabler. I buy chocolate every time I pass through a duty free store in an airport. I stop in every bakery I see to buy anything chocolate they have. I know exactly where all the nice chocolate shops are in New York City. You get my point?
I like having something to bring home when I visit. My mother does not say thank you, she immediately goes into a rant "I told you to stop bringing that stuff home, we don't need that in this house." I don't take this personally as I know she is just taking out her addiction issues on me. She will give in and taste my chocolate gift and then she hides it from the younger chocolate addicts in the family. Next thing you know it's all gone and then I get that same ranting lecture again.
When I pick up my nieces (the 2 chocolate addicts) from school, I announce "Who wants to go to the Dairy Queen and get a chocolate milkshake?" It's not because I want a chocolate milkshake from Dairy Queen, my most favorite milkshake in the world; I have the will power to say no; I am just being a nice aunt. I intercept the milkshakes at the drive-thru window before I pass them around. I quickly unwrap the straw, punch it through the hole and inhale deeply until I am begged to hand it over. I get the next one and slurp as much as I possibly can. I'm proud of myself because I had the will power to not order one for myself.
A few years ago I discovered, what is perhaps the finest chocolate I have ever put in my mouth. When I am in possession of this chocolate, it wakes me up at night. I can't go back to sleep until I have some. I rarely share this chocolate with anyone. It's not something that I place with the other chocolates in my candy dish. I discovered it in a duty free store in the Dublin, Ireland airport. Sometimes I fly to Dublin just to pick up a few boxes.
A friend of mine recently had a business trip to Dublin and told me he would be back on Friday. I carefully planned my strategy. I texted him approximately two hours before his flight and said "Any chance you could pick up a few boxes of Lily O'Briens Sticky Toffee Chocolates in the Duty Free store? The big store on the left after you go through security, the display will be on the left wall, second shelf." Surely he could find them.
Anytime I run across someone who is going to Dublin, whether it be a friend, flight attendant or complete stranger, I lecture them about how they must buy these chocolates. Just last week I was walking through the airport and a girl stopped me. She was so excited to see me she could barely
compose herself and said "You are the girl who introduced me to "Lily O'Briens Sticky Toffee Chocolates!" I have never come across "Lily O'Brien's Sticky Toffee Chocolates" in any store in the US. However, I see there are now several web sites they can be ordered from including www.lilyobriens.ie. Go ahead, order some and you will always remember me.
Laura grew up in a small southern town in Georgia on a cotton and
pecan farm where life centered around family, friends and good food.
She has lived in Atlanta for 20 years and has been a Flight Attendant
for a major airline for 18 years, traveling the world in search for the
next best meal.
by Chef Mark Shoup