Andi ScanlanSayantani DasguptaEnglish 293Essay 126 September 2011
The fleeting qualities of time, beauty and good chocolate
We’re laughing. Overwhelmed, awestruck, and disbelieving. Angelene glances atme with a mischievous look. We carefully pull out the chocolates that we hadmeticulously selected from the wonderland of Mamuschka Chocolateria. Standing like a beacon on the corner, its colors obnoxiously alive juxtaposed against the cold grey near-winter of the rest of town, the chocolate shop had drawn us like a magnet. Above the twocheerily lit displays flanking the doorway was a row of slowly turning Russian dolls. Itmade me forget for a moment that we were in Patagonia; in my mind we had just slippedinto the warmth and escaped those bitter St. Petersburg winds. Within the red lacqueredwalls of the chocolate shop we each had chosen three tiny chocolates to carry with us onthe short afternoon hike.My teeth first break the dark chocolate with an audible snap, letting the richnesssink in, savoring the sharp bite of raw, bitter cocoa melded to the light touch of sweetmilk, melting it there on my tongue. Too quickly, the last sliver has disappeared. Next isdulce de leche and milk chocolate, the obvious choice for Argentina, where the worddessert (and the words candy, breakfast and snack, for that matter) is practicallyinterchangeable with “dulce de leche.” It is a delicious, tooth-achingly sweet milk-caramel that oozes out of the jar equally deliciously whether onto bread, ice cream,chocolate, or (most often for me) just a spoon. Although its finest incarnation stillremains its appearance atop that chocolate, eaten atop the mountain we had just scaled.