‘I recently relived a childhood moment when I popped into my favourite bakery. As I walked in through the door, an incredible aroma wafted into my nostrils and something familiar flashed in the back of my brain...’
Isn’t it amazing how certain smells and tastes stick in our minds? I was instantly reminded of my mother’s kitchen. As I moseyed up to the bakery counter inquisitively, I met a bountiful tray of warm chocolate chip cookies. Without any hesitation, I bought one and within seconds of taking the first bite, I was emotionally transported back to my carefree, sweet childhood memories and for a second I left like a kid again. I left the bakery with a huge grin and a box full of choc chip cookies. There is nothing quite like a chocolate trip down memory lane.
My mother loved and still loves to bake. Oh, how I just loved licking out the chocolate cake batter bowl, followed by the wooden spoons, spatulas and possibly the hand beater too… The biscuit tins were kept quite out of reach in our kitchen, owing to the fact that the neighbourhood kids always took great pleasure in stuffing their pockets full of my mother’s baked confections.
Thinking back to when I was a little girl, just about everything that I tasted, smelt and touched influenced my sense memory and forms the basis of my decision making process today. Chocolate éclairs and gold chocolate coins, chocolate birthday cakes and chocolate donuts (what a treat!), icing laden chocolate cupcakes and foil wrapped Easter Bunnies – they all conjure up happy memories that make me smile really wide and salivate profusely while writing this. But I think my fondest memory of all time was getting caught up in the exciting adventures of one Charlie Bucket. What I would have given to sample some of the delectable wonders in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory, the chocolate river of course would have been at the top of my list of pleasures.
Then of course there are the memories associated with special occasions, such as receiving my pocket money! Such an exciting prospect, I would spend hours before “pay day” deliberating over how I would spend my sweet allowance at the local shop. When I was much younger, it was all about quantity and not quality. (My, how times have changed!) A slab of Milky Bar took high priority all those years ago and I would delicately savour every little square over several days until alas, the wrapper was empty. Today, white chocolate still remains one of my favourites.
Chocolate is cherished the world over – but is it for its sense of indulgence, or pure sweet nostalgia? I have an innate love affair with chocolate, and all its pleasurable experiences from my past play a significant and powerful role in my life today.
“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” Willy Wonka