The other day in the lead up to Easter I bought some hot cross buns. At home I discovered they had been chocolatified. All my primary school education was challenged – weren’t hot cross buns about the crucifxion (the cross), pain, suffering with a good helping of spice? If not a Christian origin – then the pagan one of Saxon goddess Eostre is fine too – but does it have to be infiltrated by chocolate?
Now I am quite partial to a good piece of chocolate – but not in everything. My repulsion of the hot cross bun chocolate infusion is the blandness effected by the constant barrage of chocolate and sugar in food these days. Things that used to taste distinctive are frequently edging towards the same bland and unexciting low grade milk chocolate.
This is happening simultaneously with the other chocolate trend: high quality and creative. The delicious, exquisite, and sometimes experimental delights of places such as Bulters on Willis St and Shoc on Tory St show us the full range of the bitter, sweet, chilli, and the unusual – chocolates which can’t so easily be taken for granted. While we have a burgeoning chocolate culture, a trip to Melbourne reminds of what Wellington’s chocolate life might be. Apart from their chocoholic city tours, meandering to places such as Koko Black (Royal Arcade) are a treat. Don’t be deceived by the Chocolate Buddha though – it’s a Japanese restaurant rather than a chocoholic’s paradise – worth a trip but for other culinary delights.