I’ve never really had a sweet tooth. Much like my mother, I always preferred salty foods like crackers, nuts and cheese. But as if overtaken by some strange force of Irish nature, I’ve practically become a chocoholic since moving here, which would disappoint my dentist back home.

 Everyone here eats chocolate, all… the… time. Whether it’s in the form of a Flake bar sticking out of a soft-serve ice cream cone or covering a digestive biscuit, chocolate is everywhere. And it’s all good chocolate, not like the grainy, oddly-flavored Hershey’s bars back home. Even the cheap stuff at discount shops is rich, creamy and outrageously good. 

But it’s not as if they don’t sell great chocolate in the U.S. There are plenty of options besides the aforementioned Hershey’s, like Lindt truffles and Green & Blacks and a variety of European and domestic chocolates available at any grocery store and convenient shop in America. It’s not like I moved here and suddenly discovered the sweet stuff. Am I’m trying to fatten myself up for the cold Irish winter? Or am I’m feeding a subconscious need for comfort in a strange new place? Is it because everyone else is doing it? If my Irish friends all jumped off a bridge, would I follow?!?!  [Editor’s note: The answer to that last question is a resounding “NO” but if any of my friends would like to give it a try, there are plenty of ring buoys along the Boyne that will save you.]

I have no idea what the reason is, but it seems not two days goes by without chocolate passing my lips. Clearly, I need to regroup and get this chocolate addiction under control. But the grocery stores are loaded with chocolate in every shape and size and style you can possibly imagine. Even when I try and avoid the sweets aisle, I can hear chocolate calling out to me with its thick Irish accent, “Clare, get out the bleedin’ bevvies section and c’mon here fer some good oul chocks!” All my friends keep loads of chocolates in their homes and always offer it when I come over (by “offer” I mean they tell me that I can make my own tea and help myself to whatever’s in the press – they are so sweet like that). This chocolate madness has got to stop. It will be a tough battle but it’s one I must take on for the sake of my wit and waistline!

 But then again, there once was a great philosopher who said, “The 12-step chocoholics program: Never be more than 12 steps away from chocolate!” Now who can argue with that?