Galbo Strawberry Chocolate

Brand: Meiji

Price: 100 yen

Found At: Family Mart

It is a generally accepted scientific fact that, once you start working with young kids, you inevitably put on weight. The extensive studies on the subject, helpfully summarized to me by my collogues, vary in their conclusions. Some find that the cause is professional, claiming that the extra stresses and long hours make healthy eating logistically difficult. Still others take a more biologically deterministic approach, implying that the presence of children causes the release of hormones that lead to greater fat storage. And others still will attest that it is cultural, a result of greater access to unhealthy break-room birthday cakes.

I’m no scientist, so I can’t make any general claims one way or another, but anecdotally I can trace the cause of my own lack of fitness to the chocolates that I smuggle between classes. It is mildly forbidden to eat at our desks during the workday because the children are not allowed to eat. I respect the solidarity, but I am also a slave to my blood sugar. The way I see it, the trauma the children avoid if I’m not crabby greater than the trauma they might incur if they see me pop a chocolate in my mouth now and then.

These particular chocolates have quickly become my favorite worktime indulgence. They are shaped like a giant tic-tac and are about the size of a small cicada. The core of the candy is a hunk of crispy chocolate: not quite a cookie, but not the typical waxy consistency of chocolate either. When you bite into them, they crunch in an extremely pleasing way – not unlike if you were actually eating a cicada. And around this chocolate center is a layer of sweet strawberry-flavored white chocolate that not only tastes of strawberry, but also smells delightfully of strawberry. It brings a little spring into the hot summer, and a little lightness to a difficult day. But most importantly, it brings a little patience into my pedagogy.

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