Yesterday, a special somebody bought me a surprise gift, just because. I love getting presents. I’m like a kid like that and I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of getting excited over presents, especially when they’re a surprise. I was wondering all day what this surprise was. Eventually, I received my gift, and I think I must have hopped and skipped and clapped my hands together with glee. It was a box of six chocolate covered strawberries; beautifully wrapped, and oh so fragrant. Some of them were dipped in just chocolate, some had chocolate and coconut shavings and some had chocolate and almond flakes. I almost didn’t want to eat them- they were so pretty – and so I stuck them in the fridge for a couple of hours. But at about 11pm when I was in my nightclothes and ready for bed, curiosity got the better of me and I shuffled guiltily over to the fridge to have a look at them before bed. But they looked so gorgeous just sitting there that I knew it was probably silly to leave them until the next day.

Besides the rule of thumb for fruit and all other good things is carpe diem, right? So I seized the day and seized it very well indeed. Never mind that I had already brushed my teeth for bed; I sat at the kitchen table by myself and scoffed four of them on the spot. Just like that. I always used to judge Nigella for doing that with her desserts and puddings; but now I get it. I do. And I apologise for every uncharitable thought I have ever thought about her standing in the door of the fridge in her nightie, eating cake, and smiling to herself. But yeah… as at last night, it was four down, two left to go. The last two, I took to work with me in my trusty lunchbox and had at my desk when the mid-afternoon blues were at their worst. I know they did their job because when the printer went schizoid and refused to print the documents I needed printed out like yesterday, I didn’t even cry or swear or threaten to break its head. I breathed in deeply and moved onto another task. Only chocolate, and good chocolate at that, can do that for you. When every fibre of your being is telling you to vandalise an errant piece of equipment and you say no… that is divine intervention and frankly, I wouldn’t mind having that kind of intervention every day (hint, hint ;)).

chocolate covered strawberries

‘So how did they actually taste’, you are probably wondering while I go on and on and on. Pretty damn good, is the simple answer. Sokolad uses high quality chocolate, and each and every piece is handmade, right here in Lagos using only the finest ingredients. This is my second experience of her chocolates and the standard seems to be consistent. I would love to know just what was inside this particular batch of chocolate because honestly, I’ve had chocolates and strawberries before but there was something very ‘when two become one’ (yup, that Spice Girls song…) about the flavours of these ones. They worked so well, and frankly smelled so damn good too, and it was almost as though each bit enhanced the other and I didn’t know where one component ended and the other started. I think what I liked the most is that though it was milk chocolate, it wasn’t cloying and vulgar. I generally dislike milk chocolate but this had a certain dignity to it; as though pandering to the over-sweet was beneath it and I admired that.

As you know, I am passionate about Nigerian owned businesses doing exciting things with food and I think that Sokolad is doing a great job in that regard. I hope that one day, when we eventually have proper duty free airport shopping in this country, for instance, brands like Sokolad on home turf will totally dominate the Lindts of this world, and everyone will know that you cannot fly in and out of Nigeria without picking up some of this stuff. Or when people are making hampers or having dinner parties or just for a regular treat, they will begin to choose stuff like this as the chocolate component because it is world class and no less worthy than anything else.

So, if you are curious, or fancy a bit of a pick me up – heck you don’t even need a reason – then check these guys out. They have a gorgeous website with all their contact details and information. Sokolad – I’m definitely a fan, now!