Now I think about it, I've already done one 'Things I Saw In Russia' post, haven't I? The one about the strangely translated dishes on the menu. But this post will have pictures! Ooh... that's exciting.
But not pictures of Russia.
Pictures of chocolate wrappers.
And at least one of those pictures will be out of focus. How'd you like that?
So here we go - I wanted to really get under the skin of life in Russia, so I sought out as many different sorts of chocolate as I could. Turns out that 'as many as I could' was, in fact, three. Here they are:
This one looked pretty fancy, but didn't taste much good. It was slightly chalky in texture. There was a strong chocolatey kick underneath that, but it was hard to get to. Too much like licking a blackboard. (For younger readers: blackboards are what we used to call whiteboards before we science had discovered what colour they were.)
I got pretty excited about the next one because it looked like it had liqueur in it. It didn't. It just tasted like plastic. What sort of plastic, precisely? Well - like a white plastic spoon that was dipped in jelly yesterday and left out in the sun without being cleaned. Here it is:
I was beginning to worry about the state of Russian chocolate, but then I noticed that this one was made in the Ukraine. I noticed this by turning the wrapper over and reading the back:
So I discounted the Ukrainian interloper.
Finally, I turned to a third selection from the little St Petersburg grocer (who by this time was beginning to get to know me, and my tastes). This chocolate had to be Russian, I reasoned. It was so Russian they called it 'Roshen':
And... it was OK. So OK that I finished this bar twice as quickly as I finished the other two. It was much creamier, smoother. Still had a bit of a plasticky after taste, until I worked out the only way to get rid of that taste: eat more of the chocolate.
Thus a never-ending cycle of consumption began. Never to end. Ever. Until I finished the chocolate.
So there you have it - a comprehensive and scientific analysis of all the chocolate in the land of the Urals. Possibly. OK, there were loads of others, but I didn't take pictures of the wrappers. It was beginning to feel a little weird.
I did eat them all though. Oh yes. Every one.