I have a sweet tooth—thirty-two to be exact.

I inherited them from my parents, both owners of In Good Taste, a long-ago chocolate and gift shop back in New York State that smelled so rich my mouth would start salivating upon entrance. There were wooden baskets on turnstiles that housed dozens of flavors of old-fashioned lollipops, rows on top of rows of cordials, truffles, and chocolate-covered dried fruits behind a glass enclosure, each one delicately nestled within a paper wrapper.

Some of my earliest memories as a child were kneeling on a stool with what resembled an ice chipper, breaking off various-sized pieces of chunk chocolate that would go directly into narrow plastic bags for purchase. I remember my mother opening up a pair of scissors and teaching me how to curl a piece of ribbon for each bag. Chocolate that came in large, thick sheets was worth its weight in gold, and it dressed accordingly.

Years later, into my young adulthood and after the store’s closing, I’d frequent my father’s favorite chocolate shops with him and developed a respect for real chocolate, seeing where he went for a good bite and where he didn’t. I was the kid who’d snuff at the sight of a grocery line candy bar. I was also the girl who rescued my father-in-law one winter in his preparation for a cookie swap—melting cheap chocolate on the stove over a too-high burner. 

Our family dogs, one in particular—the late Murphy—had accidentally eaten about three pounds of chocolate throughout his long life. I think he, too, had a taste for it, singling himself from the pack when it came to what a dog could digest.

Chocolate, for me, is nostalgic in the best of ways. It’s a warm, velvety smooth memory—something to savor time and time again. In the words of my late father, chocolatier himself, I hope this issue is sweet on you. 

On the Cover

A fistful of sugary sweets from Rockin’ Rudy’s. Photography Pamela Dunn-Parrish