My Chocolate Life

kisses.jpgI love chocolate.  I have always loved chocolate.  I have lived my life by the principle,  So much chocolate, so little time.  The expansiveness of my love of chocolate is such that it would be impossible for me to name a favorite – it would be like asking me to pick a favorite among my children. (Or maybe not exactly like that; after all, I only have one child). 

On the other hand, if you asked me to name three of my favorite chocolate moments: Life begins with Hershey's kisses and chocolate bars, in my case, Nestle's Crunch, Three Musketeers, Milky Way, Cup-O-Gold (a chocolate shell with embedded cocoanut, filled with a gooey white cream that was supposedly marshmallow but tasted like the residue of some lab experiment gone terribly
wrong) and, most significantly, the Mounds Bar. 

mounds.jpg The Mounds Bar, two pieces to a package instead of one continuous bar (it made me feel sophisticated) was and is (I think) a lump of cocoanut covered by chocolate, but the chocolate in question was dark chocolate, something I had never tasted before.  For me, it was a movie moment, like desperate shipwreck survivors suddenly spotting land straight ahead or the drillers of a thousand dry wells seeing oil erupt from the rig of the one they've taken their last chance on.  Milk chocolate soothed my childhood; dark chocolate taught me there were possibilities I hadn't even dreamed of.

The second moment involves my in-laws.  My in-laws-to-be hated me on sight, and for many years I lived in the only somewhat paranoid fear that they would hire a hit man to take me out.  They also solidly confirmed my belief that it's easier (better) to live comfortably poor that it is to be rich. But then my mother-in-law, who in fairness I must say had moments of almost liking me, introduced me to two transporting chocolates, a small dense cookie called a Sarah B, which falls just outside the candy category and a large, dark chocolate- covered marshmallow from a candy store called
Schwartz in Manhattan.  Its chocolate had a richness I'd never experienced before and the marshmallow was a thing of ethereal wonder, lighter than air, sweetly delicious, and completely addictive. 

The food my in-laws ate at home, not to mention  the food at the restaurants they favored, was almost all pretty awful, but the chocolates were fabulous.  I was forced to adjust my belief system.  Money buys you better chocolate.

geraldine.jpg Lastly,  a sentimental favorite.  When we first moved to L.A. someone took me to a candy shop called Edelweiss, on Canon Drive in Beverly Hills.  It was at that time frequented by Hollywood types as well as well-heeled locals (a lot of overlap between the two, of course) but it still managed to feel as if it had been lifted out of some mythical small town heartland America. Bells tinkled when you walked in the door; the smell of all the chocolate being made in the back filled the narrow room; and kindly ladies of indeterminate age really wanted to help you find your perfect candy. 

Mine was called a Geraldine.  It was a mix of caramel and apricot pieces inside a dark chocolate shell.  The mix of sweet and tart was my perfect candy moment.  If you bet I couldn't eat just one you'd be right; if you bet there were days I couldn't eat just five you'd still be right.  Edelweiss is still there, but for some reason I haven't ventured inside in a long time.  Maybe I'll go tomorrow.  You should, too.


Edelweiss Chocolate Factory
444 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210