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Throughout my childhood my father would religiously buy my mother a box of Black Magic chocolates every year on her birthday and at Christmas. I used to get so excited twice a year knowing that the rectangle parcel once opened would contain the magic inside. My mother was very possessive of her treat though and would leave it for days and days before she opened the box and even then my brother S and I would only be allowed one chocolate each. I can see the iconic black box now on the top shelf of the highest cupboard out of reach of me and my brother's grubby fingers. It really was forbidden fruit and therefore all the more desirable.
All of these memories of a black box with a red rose on were hidden away somewhere in the back of my brain until yesterday. I was dawdling around my local farm shop trying to decide between an organic parsnip or an organic turnip (as you do) when my eyes happened upon a big brown wicker basket piled high with...boxes and boxes of Black Magic ready and waiting for customers to purchase for Christmas. The packaging has changed but that iconic black box stopped me in my tracks and I just knew I had to have one. Not as a present for anyone else but just for me. All for me. I wanted to consume the contents of the box right there and then.
The box came home with me last night and as Mr Lovely was out for the whole evening you can guess the rest of this story. Suffice to say that today I feel a little nauseous/satisfied. I was disappointed though as now there is only six flavours whereas I remember twelve. But as I was chowing my way through the box I started to read the piece of paper inside with the history of Black Magic. I had never thought before about when they were first made. The brand was launched in 1933 as an 'affordable treat' and continued until 1941 when the war curtailed production due to a lack of ingredients. They were sold again from 1947 (a year after my mother was born). During the 1950s and 1960s (my mother started dating my father in 1964) they were given as a courtship present by men to women - that explains a lot! During the 1970s and 1980s, which is when I was a child, I remember the advertising campaign as something like: 'Who knows the secrets of the Black Magic box?'
advert from 1939; box from 1970s; advert from 1963
Advertising campaign from the 1950s
Sadly about three years ago my mother informed my father she had never really liked Black Magic chocolates. I do wish she hadn't spoiled the magic and had kept that secret between herself and the Black Magic box.
PS: I can still name the original twelve flavours: Montelimar, Chocolate Almond, Hazel Cluster, Toffee & Mallow, Orange Cream, Truffle & Nougat, Butterscotch, Coffee Cream, Liquid Cherry, Caramel, Strawberry Cup, Marzipan.
Please do tell me your memories of chocolates from childhood, I love to read all your comments.
Love Lynnette x