I love chocolate. I prefer eating it to wearing socks. But I never get given chocolates as a present. Why kecks and never chocs? Why always jockeys and never choccies?
The younger generation are meant to be woke and PC and non-sexist. So why does my wife always get chocolates for Mother’s Day and at Christmas and I only ever get a boring tie, a pair of cheap nylon socks and some insultingly roomy and blatantly forgiving boxers from our kids?
Why can’t I have chocolates?
Is it some ghastly virility shortfall for a man to have a sweet tooth? Men love Cadbury’s Milk Tray too. And the new Cadbury Caramilk Chocolate Bar.
Real men – presumably even members of the SAS – eat Terry’s Chocolate Orange.
Let’s have some gender equality. That Dads don’t do chocolate boxes is an offensive stereotype.
I have a sweet tooth. The fillings testify to that.
I open my mouth at the dentist, and he peers in, shakes head at a lost composite and says “Bounty?”, probing a bicuspid.
I go “Uh Uh” through a mouthful of his fingers.
“Quality Street?” he asks in way that implies he expect to find his surgery’s waiting room floor littered with toffee finger and orange creme wrappers.
He checks on my lower left 31 amalgam and finds another cavity. “Mr Stanley, I presume?”
Mr Stanley’s coveted confectionary are my favourite chocolates especially his Gentleman Club chocolate cigars and caramel matches. The Fudge Ahoy I have soft spot for as every dental examination reminds me.
The company goes back to 1843 and became famous for its hand-broken fudge which is made in Harrogate. its hard-boiled sweets are also made in Yorkshire and its brittles in Somerset. I am an addict.
If I have said it once I have said it a number of times at close range into the ears of our children: “Mr Stanley is a fabulous feast for any fabulous father!”
Sometime in July, in the run up to my birthday on August 1st, my kids will say: “It’s your birthday soon isn’t it?”
To which, of forestall their next question and try to avoid the Amazon voucher, I say “Sur.”
“Sur” chocolate was founded by Argentinians Maria Romero and Emanuel Ferrandez. They are based in Buckinghamshire. They send their truffles, rama and alfajores around the world.
My family knows my address.
Alfajores, from the Arabic “al-fakhar” menaing luxurious, are made all around South America with glazed sugar (Santafesinos or “de nieve”) or grated coconut or chocolate. Argentinians consume more than a billion alfajores a year. Sur makes 14 flavours including menta Negra, lavender and Malbec. The Patagonian alfajores is a chocolate biscuit with Cassis pate fruit and red berries and chocolate ganache coated with raspberry milk chocolate.
Kentish chocolate is a favourite too. Cocoba makes naughty but nice toffee pudding, apple crumble and lemon meringue treats which go down well in June, August and at Christmas and all the anniversaries in between.
It’s evening-up time. Chocolate Day must be honoured by all sexes. Chocolates are still top of my birthday present list!
The Mr Stanley’s chocolate golf balls might not be a good idea as it might give my wife egalitarian ideas and lead her to ask for chocolates the shape and size of netballs.
Kevin Pilley is a former professional cricketer and chief staff writer of PUNCH magazine. His humour, travel, food and drink work appears worldwide and he has been published in over 800 titles.
Photographs courtesy of Mr Stanley’s and Cocoba Chocolate