I love when I pull the lid off the boxed chocolates and find half-bitten pieces with finger holes in the bottom. In any other food group, this treatment of handling would be unacceptable, but for some reason in chocolates, it flies.
In reality, it is almost impossible to know what kind of chocolate will enter my mouth without taking these specific precautions. Choosing between combinations of squares, rectangles, circles, dark or milk chocolate, creamy or caramel becomes a complicated decision. Nevertheless, neither am I grossed out nor do I throw the violated pieces away.
Why is that? If I would find a piece of bread in the loaf with a bite mark, I would throw it away, not merely push it aside in search of a whole slice. So, then the real question becomes, is all of this pre-poking and pre-biting necessary? Of course not.
The simple addition of a chocolate directory, a map of sorts, would put an end to the wasting of good candy. How hard is it to draw a locator of the chocolates for customers. I would be happy with just the names scribbled on paper as long as it indicated the location of the various kinds.
I know I would be the first to buy a package of boxed chocolates that had a notice on the front: MAP INCLUDED. Row three, column one: strawberry cream, my favorite. That is all I need to know. No poking needed, and I would be happy on the first grab. It angers me when I see that the strawberry cream is unavailable for eating. Just because the last person that raided the box was looking for the coconut cream and guessed wrong, I have to suffer.
Without a map, chocolate eating is as chancy as Russian Roulette. Will I get the bullet this time is synonymous with will I get the chocolate covered cherry? Most would decide against both if that was possible. With a table of contents, though, it is possible.
In any case, after all of these years of putting up with random chocolate eating, it is time for a change. I am sick of the guessing game. I am sick of looking at uneatable candy, and I am sick of people eating half of my favorite strawberry creams.
Julie Crist can be reached at email@example.com