The concept of dairy-free chocolate was an abomination. My love affair with milk chocolate began as a child and I blame my addiction on my upbringing.
I was raised in the tiny town of Bournville. Home to 25,000 people, it is nestled in the sprawling city of Birmingham, England. Bournville’s historic homes, green parks, and babbling brook make you feel like you’ve encountered a little piece of the country, which was certainly the intention of its founders, the Cadbury’s.
My Cadbury Legacy
I was a Cadbury’s girl.
When I was three years old, I moved into a home on Maryvale Road. The house was built at the turn of the 19th century as part of the Cadbury estate, a housing project designed to revolutionize the way that factory workers lived. Therefore, each home had indoor plumbing, a garden, and a fruit tree. My Great Grandfather, Alfred Sewell, was the Cadbury family photographer and worked 30 years for the Bournville Works Magazine. I was the fourth generation of Sewell’s to attend Bournville Infant and Junior School consequently built by Dame Elizabeth Cadbury in 1910. (My Great Grandfather was one of the first students and my dad and his cousins spent plenty of timeouts under the clock in the assembly hall!)
The school is just across the street from the Cadbury’s Chocolate Factory.
As a result, every day of every school year, my tiny, impressionable world was filled with the aromatic scent of melted chocolate. While we played outside, it hung in the air like a fine mist and permeated my pores. By the time I moved away when I was nine, I’m pretty sure my DNA was part cocoa.
Sugar Comas at Grandmas
Now my mum was almost religious in her rationing of our sweet treats but my Grandma was another story. Her sweetie tin was always stuffed with Cadbury’s Eclairs and powdered lemon and strawberry bonbons. As a result, Saturday visits to her house often ended in sweet, sweet sugar comas. As I grew up, I started getting pocket money and I clearly remember spending it all at the corner shop on Crunchies, Fingers of Fudge, Curly Wurlys, Wispas, Chocolate Buttons, Flakes, and Dairy Milk; a habit that would last until I was an adult. Decadent, delicious, thick, creamy blocks of melting chocolate would dissolve slowly in my mouth, producing a euphoric state of bliss.
With a glass and a half of milk in every bar, obviously, there was no such thing as dairy-free chocolate.
Easter and a Plethora of Chocolate Eggs
As a child, Easter was the Cadbury jackpot. Everyone bought everyone a chocolate Easter egg and because we had a huge extended family, there was always plenty to go around. The eggs often came sitting in a mug, wrapped in crinkly cellophane, or in equally brightly colored pastel boxes adorned with bunnies. As an added bonus, each one came filled with our favorite Cadbury’s chocolate. I might be exaggerating, but I swear I remember receiving about twenty eggs one year, and the way my mum rationed those out, it was just about enough to last till Christmas.
When I moved to the US in 1995, I clung desperately to those traditions with fierce tenacity. Despite the cost, every Christmas involved a tin of Cadbury’s Roses and every trip that my mum and dad took to visit us included a suitcase brimming with a variety of Cadbury confectionary. When I took my kids back to the UK, I naturally took them to Cadbury World, where we sampled hot, melted chocolate, old favorites, and new creations.
Dairy-Free, A Thing of Nightmares
In 2011, to my horror, I was diagnosed with a delayed food sensitivity to dairy. In some kind of sick, twisted nightmare, my body could not tolerate one of the primary ingredients in
In the beginning, I just quit eating chocolate. I had gluten sensitivities too so it made it really hard to find confectionary that was both dairy-free and gluten free. I was scrambling to learn all the different and hidden dairy derivatives inside products and it was easier to quit than to try.
That was until I went to England a little later that year and discovered the wonderful world of Tesco’s “Free From”, a brand that catered to people with food allergies and sensitivities. They carried a rice milk chocolate bar that tasted a bit like the waxy cheap stuff in our childhood Christmas advent calendars, but it was a glimmering ray of hope in an otherwise dairy-free and therefore chocolate free world. My return to Arizona sent me hunting and I stumbled across Enjoy Life brand which has served our family pretty well since then, although I now prefer to look for organic, fair trade, dark dairy-free chocolate.
Joy Can Be Egg Shaped
It wasn’t until a co-worker was lamenting this week about how her grandson’s dairy allergy was wrecking his Easter basket options, that it dawned on me that there had to be themed dairy-free candy available for him. I’m not saying we misappropriated work time or computer use or anything, but we did come up with several solutions for him before the morning was out. I loved these Moo Free Easter Eggs which were reminiscent of my childhood, these assorted Enjoy Life allergy friendly rice milk crunch candies, or the amazing offerings by No Whey Foods, for example, they even seem to have managed to pull off a “White Chocolate Like Bunny”.
Want a little dairy free Easter in your life? Check out the link below to enter to win a set of Moo Free Easter Eggs.
Finding a New Sense of Normal
A lot of things have changed since I moved to America. I’m still working on forgiving Kraft Foods for their hostile takeover of Cadbury’s in 2010 and the consequential demise of the brand and everything it stood for. I’ve discovered a penchant for dark chocolate and consequently, far prefer it over dairy-free “milk” chocolate, and I’ve got a much healthier perspective on the importance of moderation these days.
However, if you peek beneath the wrapper of this Holistic Nutritionist this Easter, you’ll still find a little Cadbury’s girl with cocoa in her DNA, and liquid chocolate in her veins. She’ll be over here in Arizona reminiscing about her childhood while she indulges in a dairy-free chocolate egg.
If you are struggling to adapt to your dairy-free life, contact us today to find out how we can help.
Register to win 2 Moo-Free Easter Eggs here!
Terms and Conditions of Drawing Entry1. Drawing entry begins on 3/30/2019 at 12:00 a.m. MST and ends on 4/15/2019 at midnight MST.
2. Eligibility requirements: a. You must live in the United States of America. b.You must provide a mailing address upon winning. Prizes will not be mailed to a PO Box. c. Must be over 18 years old to participate. d. You may only enter the drawing once.
3.Enter to win by clicking on the link above.
4.Prize Description:Two Moo Free Chocolate Eggs: one Moo Free Original Organic Egg with Buttons and one Easter Bunnycomb Egg with Buttons. Abundant Life Nutrition and Wellness reserves the right to substitute a dairy free chocolate product of similar value in the event that the Moo Free product is not available. 5.Winner will be chosen on 4/16/2019.
6. Winners will be selected at random using the Random Name Picker Tool.
7. By entering this drawing, entrant agrees to comply with the rules and regulations as a condition of participation listed here and provides consent to the use of their name, City of residence and State in the drawing announcement.
8. There is one prize. Odds of winning depend on the number of entrants to the drawing.
9. Drawing is provided by: Abundant Life Nutrition and Wellness Center: 35 W. Brown Road, Mesa, AZ 85201. 480.757.0229