Endangered Species Chocolate

When I was growing up, decorating the house for Christmas was an event and the Christmas tree was its focal point.The perfect tree had to be found. The boxes of bulbs and decorations taken out of basement storage. All the strings of light bulbs (in series) had to be plugged in and tested. and tested. and tested. What does this have to do with chocolate, you ask? Just read the story.

What is unique about Christmas trees is not so much their shape, but the way each household decorates it. It is a combination of family history and flair. Our tree had multi-colored big and small balls. It had flashing multi-colored lights one year, white ones another. It was adorned with a myriad of ornaments. It had shiny garish red and gold garland and plastic silver icicles Dad would be vacuuming up until summer. And it was decorated with…FOOD. We popped popcorn and Mom strung it with needle and thread to garland the tree. We made cookies with holes to hang on the boughs. We hung traditional Hungarian bonbons called szaloncukor with its frilled paper edges and shiny pastel foil wrappings. And we hung little dark chocolate syrup filled bottles. There weren’t many of those because they were expensive. The whole tree would have only about two dozen – three in a good year.  I’d have to space out my pre-Christmas indulging so as not to bring attention to them having gone missing. The szaloncukor was easy to eat on the sly. All I had to do was take out the candy carefully and puff up the wrapping. Should of seen my Dad’s face reach for one and it flatten in his hand. Why would he always look at me? I don’t know. Parendar (parent radar).

Which brings me to the Endangered Species Chocolates. The little chocolate bottles were not filled with real alcohol. It was a simple syrup with fruit extract added. Some were filled with orange or cherry or mint. When I first tasted the Endangered Species chocolate, it was a bite size Halloween treat (mixing up the holidays here) I had bought to give to the little goblins at the door. Imagine my GLEE when they were the reincarnation of the Christmas chocolate bottles!

With that said, the chocolate bottles now have alcohol in them and taste horrible. Don’t mess with my memory! In any event, I can now relive past sweet Christmas indulgence with an Endangered Species dark chocolate bar with orange. It has a zebra on it. Or with cherry. It has a koala. Merry Christmas!

2 comments ↓

#1 Liza on 11.21.11 at 7:20 am

Hello there. This is a long shot given that your article was published some years ago, but I’m wondering where you would have found the szaloncukor–I’m looking to buy some while I’m down in the US (from Vancouver, BC) this weekend for my Hungarian uncle. Not easy stuff to find!
Thanks!

#2 Bellinghamster on 11.27.11 at 10:10 pm

Honestly, my mother sends the szaloncukor to me for Christmas. She buys it at the Hungarian butcher store in Safety Harbor, FL. You can try http://hungariandeli.com/ or Elizabeth’s Hungarian Bakery in Vancouver BC or Duna Delicatessen on Victoria St in Vancouver BC. Forget about anything in WA. Good luck, Liza!

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