In my old age I’m so hard to impress. Halloween never really did it for me. Until today. I walked into my son’s nursery and there was a table with carved out pumpkins sat there proud. Children had worked with their parents to create something together. At that moment I got it. My son is now 13 months old and curious about everything. At that moment I realised how each year another event or celebration will be a marker in his progression into adulthood and beyond. It’s a celebration lost in its Pagan roots, but more now its more to do with Children taking control of and expressing their creativity.
So now I have these chocolate Halloween treats from Hotel Chocolat before me and I see them in a different light – not so much of the gloom that this time of year signifies, but with a joyous glow.
I part of me still dreads the knocks on the door from children asking for chocolate when I’m more of a Friis-Holm, Chocolate Tree, and Pump Street Bakery kind of guy. What do I give them when I don’t have chocolate of this kind around the house? Do I give them some Napolitains? Or do I pop along to the Hotel Chocolat store on the way to the football and bag myself some of their chocolate. To be honest I don’t know. I do know that they would like these Oozy Eyes if I hadn’t polished most of them off the past few days as I walk past the open packet. I know they’re white chocolate but when you’re as stress as heck about the sheer volume of work you’ve got to do then that sugar hit is exactly what you need – and I can’t really mindlessly eat all my chocolate that costs approaching £10 a bar!
These Oozy Eyes are classically ‘white chocolate’ sweet – and that’s before you even get to the caramel inside that just spills out of the shell as you crunch in. They’re exactly what kids want. I’ll get some more and give the kids a treat.
Perhaps it’s because each of the milk chocolate shapes in the Boo! box were encased in their own individual wrappers that they actually served as ‘barrier to entry’ and that I didn’t pick my way through these during my recent malaise. Again they’re very sweet (I prefer the darker ones), but, to repeat myself, that’s what kids want. I’ve got a good handful left and will also use them to satisfy the local kids (I’ll let the accompanying parents know that they came Hotel Chocolat and gauge their reaction).
There’s just so much rubbish out there when it comes to chocolate at this time of year. I’m sure some of my historic dislike for this time of year has to do with the seriously naff buckets of ‘chocolates’ for Halloween you see in the supermarkets. Huge companies like that aren’t really focused on any form of quality to my mind. Hotel Chocolat may still not be a boutique chocolatierie, but they do offer parents a choice a fair few steps up from the supermarkets at Halloween.
And the price? You know they’re not cheap, so let’s not compare apples and oranges (or even pumpkins).