Author: Meg King
Date of Trip: May 2010
I feel that this is a subject that should receive more attention. I lost track of how many chocolate bars I consumed while in Switzerland recently. It all began when I purchased the well known brands of chocolate at the souvenir shops with the vague idea of bringing them back with me as gifts. I’m not sure how long that unrealistic idea lasted because I began eating the chocolate bars almost immediately after they were in my possession. It was almost a relief to realize that I was not only not going to bring any of the chocolate back with me; they would not even remain in my purse for more that a few minutes.
It was then that I made an exciting discovery. A few blocks from the tourist shops were tucked away small grocery stores where presumably local folks did some of their everyday shopping. While I was in one of these stores to purchase a box of crackers, I saw a shelf with chocolate bars on it. Not the name brand kind, but rather full size bars with a name equivalent to “cost cutter” on them. When I saw the price, I needed smelling salts. A full size chocolate bar was priced at 45 cents! A chocolate bar with hazel nuts was 50 cents, and a white chocolate bar was 60 cents. I felt certain this must be some sort of knock off brand, but at 50 cents who cares? I bought one of each bar, and once I found a park bench to sit on, I unwrapped a candy bar and took a bite. Delicious! I don’t remember which kind I ate first, second, or third, but the next thing I remembered was looking wistfully at three empty candy wrappers. Those chocolate bars were as good as the ones in the tourist shops selling for ten times as much!
Now I needed a strategy for making the most of this exciting discovery. My first plan: eat one chocolate bar a day. My second plan: one chocolate bar per meal. My actual plan: eat as much as you can until you feel sick, and then repeat the next day. I must admit that wasn’t much of a plan, but I have no regrets. I decided that since there was marginally some milk in the chocolate, it could serve as a milk substitute for breakfast. It was providing my calcium for the day. Every time I saw a grocery store anywhere in Switzerland, I hunted for- and bought- chocolate bars. They were a bargain!
Finally the day came when I was leaving Switzerland. I stocked up on chocolate bars with great sadness, knowing my great candy adventure was coming to an end. I enjoyed all the iconic sights- the Matterhorn, chalets, and beautiful cities. But the chocolate will be one of my best memories.