Dear Bee, the chocolate was my biggest disappointment.

You and I, we’re food grazers. We like small-and-often, rather than huge-and-infrequent. The problem for you Bee, and was for me: life at home is strictly three meals a day. No snacks, no treats.

So (look away now, Bee, if you don’t want to be shamed), snaffling food when no-one was looking became a guilty pleasure. I was opportunistic: a few crackers here, a spoonful of leftover pudding there…a lump of cheese, a handful of raisins – whatever presented itself when I was hungry.

Don’t get me wrong Bee, I know the meals at home were delicious: home grown organic veg before they got trendy, proper meat from the butchers, huge Yorkshires, crunchy roast potatoes. And there was always a pudding!

But I was often hungry, so my food thievery continued.

My biggest disappointment, though, was the chocolate.

Nothing beats chocolate for a snack. But, as you know Bee, until the paper round I never had money of my own, so I had to improvise. And the best I could do was sneaking a chunk or two of mum’s cooking chocolate when no-one was looking.

I was disappointed every time. It looks like chocolate, smells like it too, but it doesn’t even come close in the taste category, which I know you’ll agree is the most important. It just didn’t satisfy my desire for something sweet and delicious. It failed to live up to its promise.

Now that I live in more autonomous, educated and plentiful times, and have experienced the delights of chocolate ganache, I have formulated a policy for chocolate consumption. Namely: if I’m putting empty calories in my body, they have to be the best quality empty calories I can find.

Don’t get me wrong Bee, I’m not a food snob. I load up my shopping trolley with own-brand and basic lines; I’m no stranger to the downshift challenge. But when it comes to chocolate, nothing short of the best will do.

So what is the best?

If I need something to chew on, it’s a Doubledecker. If I’m feeling virtuous, it’s a Bounty (coconut is a fruit, right?). If I’m just blessing myself, it’s a KitKat Chunky. For sharing, it’s Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut. But the best of the lot, the pinnacle of chocolate indulgence, the one that’s on every birthday and Christmas list, is a box of Lindt Lindor.

You might have different views, Bee, and I’d be interested to hear them. But what I’m not interested in, in any shape or form, are the pretenders. The ones that look and feel like the originals, but just don’t cut the mustard. I’ve tried them (they are cheaper, after all) and I’ve been disappointed. When it comes to chocolate, as in life itself, only the real deal will suffice.

I’m not interested in setting myself up for disappointment, and the same should go for you, Bee. Love yourself; life’s too short to eat cheap icecream. What goes for icecream, also goes for chocolate, and you’re worth more than settling for second best.

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