The height of chocolate sophistication


When I was a kid, there was one kind of chocolate that really wasn’t for sharing, was just for the adults. I didn’t even know what it was called, but it seemed so grown up with its gold foil and outer red and white cellophane wrapper.

To us, I think they were called elephants, and I know now they do appear to have little feet to them, and that the elephant is the brand mark of Côte D’Or. So maybe not such a random name as it seemed as a kid.


Cote D'or Bouchees


And oh the heaven when a small sliver did make it our way. Such creaminess, such sweetness, all wrapped up in even more delicious chocolate. Truly the adults got the best thing. And as I got older, and made my own trips to France, then I could at last acquire my own Bouchées.

I suppose they could have become an ongoing thing in my life, those little elephants of praline delight. After all, I’ve done many trips to France, and putting the words in Google will reveal nearly 63,000 entries. And I can afford to buy my own.

But somehow, some years later, they never have been a regular fixture here. Thinking of one now doesn’t fill me with longing, although admittedly a little nostalgia. Time has moved my tastes to the less sweet, not to mention the slightly more unusual.

For me, the stuff I would hide is less likely to be praline based, but a bar of something good. I have been known to hide a bar or two of the good stuff from Amelia Rope, in fact a hidden bar of the dark Hazelnut and Sea Salt was a small rebellion during the dying days of my marriage. Really a bad sign when you won’t share the good stuff!

I hope I’ve brought MGG up to enjoy all kinds of chocolate, although we’re still working on the dark stuff. I do think it’s something you only get a taste for as you age, a bit like my relationship with red wine and blue cheese. But like in many things in life, some things are worth waiting for.


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Helen Tarver

Collector of great gifts and fabulous food, mum, cake baker & eater, wine opener. I write about food and the gift of it in its many forms.

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