It’s now April 1st and a little late to be celebrating Valentine’s Day, but I don’t think it’s ever too late to celebrate Love.

My daughter- in-law Keiko always remembers me on Valentine’s Day by sending chocolates from a famous chocolatier. This year almost two weeks before that day she emailed me she had ordered something different, that she hoped would arrive in time for her to mail it out to me. She didn’t have to say she meant in time for Valentine’s Day; I just knew. Meanwhile Keiko emailed me that I would be tasting a Kit Kat that is authentic pink or ruby chocolate made from a pink cocoa bean. Kit Kat, a famous chocolatier, did I say? Why I used to buy Kit Kats for pennies at my local grocery store, and they always were the same – vanilla wafers coated with milk chocolate (before dark chocolate became all the rage). Now I was curious and when the package arrived almost a week before the big day, I couldn’t wait to open it. Inside was a rather small cardboard container inside of which were seven pencil thin and long shaped wrappings made of gold leaf paper with the name Kit Kat imprinted on each and the color of the chocolate, from milk chocolate to dark and two of the ‘ruby’ sticks. The dark chocolate was named Raw, and the pink Ruby, The Japanese consider presentation just as important as the contents and usually in small servings which these definitely were. Their dinner consists of small servings of a variety of vegetables, fish or meat, and of condiments in separate tiny plates. No oversized dinner plates grossly piled high with all the foods, like here in the western world.

I tried the Ruby first; it had the pleasing taste of strawberries, then the dark chocolate labeled Raw which was even more delicious and not that sweet. Being greedy and western, I wished that they were larger in size. The wrappings and the contents were sophisticated; my, Kit Kat had come a long way! When I wrote to thank Keiko for the delightful experience she had given me, she emailed me back the following, “The Kit Kat chocolate has been unusually popular in Japan because of two reasons. Kit Kat happens to mean in Japanese ‘I will win’ and many students or their parents buy it before a big exam for colleges. The second reason is many local cities commissioned the Nestle Company which owns it to develop different flavored Kit Kats, using their local product, such as green tea, rice powder, sushi, citrus fruit, even Japanese sake, So Japanese tourists whenever they visit these areas are tempted to buy them as a gift to take home.” I later Googled and learned that the pink chocolate was developed in Switzerland in 2017 from a ruby colored cocoa bean and that now Kit Kats come in 300 different varieties in Japan. Who knew that the common Kit Kat would in its transformation emerge as the biggest selling chocolate in Japan! Well, I treasured each bite of this gift, all of them delicious.

On the afternoon of Valentine’s Day my doorbell rang; I was not expecting anyone and when I opened the door there was no one there, but suddenly appeared two outstretched hands holding two large chocolate bars and then the bearer of the gift, Becilla, the wonderful woman who helps me out twice a week, calling out Happy Valentine. She had brought me what she knew was my favorite, Lindt’s Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt. Now this has met its competition – not Kit Kat’s exotic pink chocolate but Kit Kat’s dark chocolate, with its perfect balance of chocolate and sugar!

Eating these culinary delights has given me pleasure (Thank God for my taste buds!), but knowing they come straight from the heart, gives me so much joy!