“Which one’s your favorite?” I get this question a lot from people visiting my stand at the farmers’ markets. It’s always a hard one to answer. Each of my chocolates was conceived only after long sessions of labor, of trial and error, discoveries and adjustments, hair-pulling and tooth-grinding, and a fair number of trips to the waste bin. Through it all, I really came to love each confection and to see its potential, even the most difficult ones. They have truly become my babies, and what mother goes around telling people she loves one of her children more than her others?
I suppose I could say that I like them all equally the same. It would be an honest answer, but I cringe at how much of a salesman it makes me sound in front of a shopper. Under pressure, my eyes would sweep across all six of my current chocolates on display on my table, trying desperately to feel more affection for one of them than for the rest. It’s never worked. After an awkward silence, I’d end up blurting out the name of my first-born: “Banana Bliss Caramel!” Before the guilty conscience could kick in, I’d hurry on and follow up with, “They’re made with real bananas, no artificial flavorings.”
But it never feels right to play favorites like this so I’d start talking up my other chocolates too. “The pineapple caramel is really refreshing, and the creamy coffee caramel packs a punch. But then again the peanut butter’s been really popular—the peanut butter’s on the bottom with a layer of vanilla bean marshmallow on top.” By the time I stop talking, I realize that my ramblings pretty much add up to saying that I like them all equally the same.
So next time I get asked this question, I’ll simply say with maternal pride, “A mother loves all her babies equally.” With any luck, the customer will understand that one person’s chocolate treat is another person’s lovingly-nurtured baby. If the customer looks at me like I’m slightly crazy, I can always counter by asking, “Which of your kids do you like best?” I’ll let you know how this goes.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!