In mid-December, a few days after finals had ended and I’d flown back to Oakland, I woke up one morning to be informed that we were going somewhere for breakfast, and– unsurprisingly– the destination was a surprise. We left the house a little after 10 a.m. and, if I recall correctly, the drive was short but pretty quiet, as I had yet to gather my bearings of the area and was engaged with staring out the passenger-side window. It wasn’t until we passed by the local tennis club and I saw its sign that I realized we were in Berkeley.
So we’re driving down this quiet little street in some Berkeley neighborhood, right? And even though he’s worried about being late, he’s pretty obedient to speed limit postings (unlike, uh, some other people (me)), so we’re cruising by houses and buildings slowly enough that I can continue silently devoting my attention to them. Suddenly, I notice an old brick building with the Scharffen Berger logo on it, and I finally muse out loud: "Oh, look! I didn’t know they were based out here. I’ve actually tried their chocolate before, but I don’t think I cared much for it."
And as the words are coming out of my mouth, he’s turning. Into the parking lot. The Scharffen Berger parking lot. He’s parking in the Scharffen Berger parking lot.
It turned out that "breakfast" was actually a chocolate tasting tour. On top of unwittingly lodging my foot in mouth with my passenger-seat commentary, I’d been on a few chocolate factory tours before, but I know how much thought he puts into our every expedition, so I resolved myself, determined to be a champion Scharffen Berger enthusiast by the end of the tour.
One hour and four or five samples later, however, and– not so much. The tour was interesting and more factory-comprehensive than my previous experiences, and the chocolate we tried was better than the lackluster piece I’d had a year ago, but all I could keep thinking, the entire time, was: "It’s not Bloomsberry."
Because that’s the thing of it. I’ve had Bloomsberry chocolate, and it’s subsequently ruined me for all other chocolates. It’s the farthest thing from fancy exotic chocolate– there are exactly two varieties, milk and dark bars– but it’s the only chocolate I crave, now. My palate is so attuned to it, in fact, that even when I’m actively un-craving chocolate as a whole, half of a Bloomsberry square is enough to goad me into eating the whole bar. And I know there are hundreds, thousands even, of other chocolate brands out there (I tried a significant number of them before I stumbled upon Bloomsberry), that I shouldn’t close myself off to all those possibilities because what if there’s something I’d like even more? But I don’t care. I don’t need to try new chocolate. I don’t even *want* to try new chocolate. Bloomsberry is all I want; I am left with nothing unsatisfied by Bloomsberry; I can’t see myself ever getting tired of or bored with Bloomsberry.
Which isn’t to say I would downright reject any and all other brands; when presented with such an offer, I politely accept (and eat, as well, also out of courtesy). But I could only be good friends with other chocolate; Bloomsberry is where my heart lies. In sickness, in health. To the death.