We spent a few days in Hershey relaxing at their beautiful resort and enjoying the theme park. My adoration (bordering on obsession) of chocolate has been well-documented in this space. To put it succinctly, I am a chocolate snob.
So it should come as no surprise that Hershey chocolate is not something I ever buy at the store.
We mostly shop at Trader Joe’s, which has a shockingly good selection of high-quality chocolate. I’ve also been known to splurge on dark chocolate from specialty boutiques from time to time. Any friend who wants to impress me at Christmas or my birthday just buys me the largest size box of Godiva they sell.
When I was a flight attendant, I was in seventh heaven when I would be assigned European layovers because the chocolate there was of such a higher caliber than American chocolate. I have been told that some types of handmade European chocolate must be consumed literally within days of creation due to the fresh ingredients and lack of preservatives. (You mean I have to eat my chocolate right away? Darn! That will be so hard!)
Arriving at Hershey and being surrounded by iconic chocolate such as Hershey bars, Kisses, Reese’s, Almond Joy, Kit Kat, York, etc. was like suddenly finding yourself inside your child’s Halloween trick or treat bag.
I stood in the gift shop (“Chocolate Island,” how original) staring at the shelves full of choices. I wanted to like this chocolate, I wanted to feel a rush of desire … but much like dating that short guy in my American History class in college, the feeling simply wasn’t there.
I walked out empty-handed.
When I returned to the room, The Husband said, “I thought you were going to the gift shop?” The Husband has known me long enough to know I have never met a gift shop I didn’t like, especially one where chocolate was involved.
“Yeah, uh, I’m not really a fan of milk chocolate,” I said lamely.
“Me neither. But I thought they sold lots of different kinds; don’t they sell dark?”
I shrugged like a bored teen-ager. “I guess.”
“Are you feeling okay?” asked The Husband, “Because at home you’re a chocoholic.”
“Yeah. I know. But it taste different. It tastes … sort of bland.” I made a face like if you found out today’s mail was all bills and ads. “Just not my preference.”
“Did you ask the girl in the gift shop for recommendations?”
For a split second, I imagine myself walking up to the sales counter during a rush and saying loudly, “Excuse me, but do you have any Godiva chocolate instead? I’m not a big fan of Hershey chocolate.”
I would probably be voted off the island.
(“Misses Other Varieties”)