Running the gauntlet of the sucrose-laden till displays as I queue to pay, my attention is caught by a tray of familiar little red packages. A veritable mountain range of Rochers Suchard.
They look sickeningly large for a solo snack, but I’m not deterred. I swiftly grab and surround my rocher with cleansing bottles of Evian, but I realise that Himself is fast approaching the counter to settle up for the fuel and will not be fooled into not-seeing this absurd indulgence, this sugar-fest lump of chocolate excess set to delay the new year detox by another few hours.
“We’re sharing it,” I rush to explain, and he’s not one to argue on this sort of offering.
Back in the car, I carefully and reverently unfold and peel off the substantial foil packaging. The Rocher Suchard is the roi of chocolate snackery. No thin wispy foil sheeting and paper to be torn off here. Rocher Suchard packaging is made for keeping and collaging and Artwork.
Once open, it looks a bit smaller than I remember from 30 years ago, when I was studying at Limoges university in the middle of French nowhere. Along with sulfurous red plonk in recyclable metal-capped bottles, these chunks of chocolate brightened our miserable student existence in the ZUP (zone d’urbanisation prioritaire) de l’Aurence
Would it taste as good three decades on? Funnily enough, yes. Maybe enjoyment was heightened by knowing I had to leave not less than half for Himself to snarf on. I tried to argue it meant more to me than to him, and therefore I was entitled to two thirds at least, but he claimed nostalgic memories too, and I grudgingly have to acknowledge that he might have had them in Switzerland circa 1981.
And so between us both we licked the wrapper clean.