Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Yum yum?

Cheap to buy and vile to eat, chocolate Christmas tree decorations are not intended to be adult entertainment. But then again, even the kids won’t eat them - these days, they won’t consider any chocolate that isn’t FairTrade, organic and gluten-free. Free of their garish wrappers, these pre-cast mutants - bloated Santas, deformed fairies, reindeer with Ninja Turtle heads, foil-wrapped, banana republic currency - are the stuff of nightmares rather than the Night Before Christmas. And yet, that’s exactly when they’re at their most tempting.

It’s Christmas Eve, and you’re just back from the pub (sorry, midnight mass). What - other than Santa’s mince pie mountain - could be a better accompaniment to the glass of sherry you see before you? Fussy foodies buy Rococo’s tasteful chocolate angels by mail order in September. But most of us buy them from the same street vendor who flogs wafer thin, flimsy wrapping paper at 50p for 12-sheets (“Getcha chocolate tree decorations here - a paaahnd a bag!”) on December 23rd. They exist only to look pretty, but rarely do they manage even that. But right now, those cheap, sugar and fat laden nasties - barely related to the cocoa bean, let alone the real spirit of Christmas - look even tastier than the organic Norfolk bronze turkey that’s lying in wait in the fridge.

Top tip: rip them from the bottom branches only, leave the strings dangling from the branches and blame your misdemeanours on the dog. Christmas? It’s a guilty pleasure free-for-all.

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