The Church of Chocolate

This
year Eastern and Western Christianity are united with the occurrence of Easter
on April 8th allowing a joint observation of the festival by both camps. As
many of you are surely aware, Easter signifies the day that Jesus Christ died
for man’s sins, but as a non-Christian and lacking the skills of a theologian I
don’t understand why I am still paying for the sin of stealing my wife’s last
chocolate egg last year – she has already mentioned it twice this week. 

Unfortunately
for her, my dad (more guilt), my brother (even more guilt) and others (combined
guilt), my religion is chocolate. I have less self-control than a baby’s
bladder, with my conscience drastically weakening in the presence of the cocoa
god and his sweet minions. As a child, my dad would joke that I would eat dog
poo if it had a chocolate coating, but I could never defend myself against this
allegation because I was salivating too much at the very thought. 

My
chocoholic disease is particularly worse at Easter when the glorious
commercialization of another religious holiday means more chocolate than a
Willy Wonka wet dream could ever fantasize. In the UK there are supermarket
aisles stacked to the ceiling with chocolate Easter eggs from all the
individual brands and others featuring characters from children’s television
shows, such as Bob the Builder. The usual selection includes two bars of
chocolate and a chocolate egg about 10cms in diameter and 20cms in height.

{mosimage}However,
the true chocolate connoisseur does not care for these eggs at Easter because
there are two truly desirables. The first is a Cadbury’s Crème Egg, which is a
thick chocolate shell filled with a gooey centre and the second is already
making my mouth water. Cadbury Mini Eggs are, are, how can I do them justice
with mere adjectives? Simply, they are small chocolate eggs covered in a crispy
shell, but they are the most deliciously addictive sweets in the world. No
argument. 

Easter
is not all fun and games. My nemesis is the so-called Easter Bunny, who,
inexplicably, hides decorated chocolate eggs around the house and garden for
children to try and find. I personally believe this to be a waste of energy and
time, not because my brother would always find far more than me, but because it
is inexcusable torture to a young chocoholic. I did once try to convince my
brother that the rabbit droppings in our garden were from the Easter Bunny and
would taste like raisins – he didn’t believe me for some reason. 

Finland
has been a new experience for me at Easter with its delightful Fazer Mignon
eggs presented in real eggshells and the tradition of children dressing as
witches on Palm Sunday going door-to-door basically trick or treating. The
first time I experienced this tradition it was a little girl ready to say her
‘virvon varvon’, but was terrified by the sight of a confused hungover
Englishmen wearing a dressing gown in the afternoon. Sorry again, little girl! 

This
year I shall be joining her in my hope of claiming some free sweets, so if a
grown man dressed as a witch knocks at your front door then throw him a bar of
chocolate and he will leave quietly after drooling a grateful thank you.

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