First-Hand: I have to have it every day: Chocoholics Unanimous love Easter, says founder Caroline Sarll

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
I USED to eat eight bars of chocolate a day. Now I'm down to three or four. The most I've eaten was 8lb in five days. That was after the time I'd gone to a chocolate-tasting and they were about to throw away the bits at the end of the day. I couldn't believe it - what a waste]

Most of us are very greedy at Chocoholics Unanimous. We can't keep chocolate in the house; two hours is about as long as most of us can stand having it there and not eating it. I've rarely got sick. Sometimes I can feel a little peaky after a load of truffles. I've never had a headache, though, even when I've eaten a lot.

I have to have chocolate every day - it's part of my diet, like potatoes are for some. There are a lot of good things about it that people don't know about. I think I'm right in saying it has properties which break down cholesterol, for instance.

It's interesting that out of our 40 members, two-thirds are female, but I don't think it's hormonally related. Women associate chocolate-eating with guilt more than men do. They need the support of a group.

Only once did I have to go without chocolate for a long period. It was when I was on a two-week holiday in the Maltese islands. I did a recce as soon as we landed - changed my money and that sort of thing, and checked out the chocolate situation. 'Bloody hell,' I thought, when I discovered there was absolutely none on the whole island. According to my partner, I blanched. But I didn't go cold turkey or anything. I survived.

Out of 40 or so members of Chocoholics Unanimous there are absolutely no fatties. Not one. It's a myth, all that stuff about spots too - doctors have proved that. We get together about three or four times a year for a gourmet dinner. Last year we had leek and bacon soup with melted chocolate, followed by beef in chocolate sauce with potatoes topped by a cheese and white chocolate gratin on the side. For a snack I often have baked potato with a bar of chocolate melted in it.

My favourite bars are the Cote d'Or packs of three and the Yorkie bars with whole peanuts in them. I have to have a fix at lunchtime, but I'll eat chocolate first thing in the morning too. Really, the morning's the best time of the day for eating chocolate, because your palate's very clean.

One of the main attractions of chocolate is its texture - it's beautifully soft and coats your tongue like nothing else. It's really very sensual, you can feel it pouring into the cavities. I give lots of work to my dentist.

I've eaten it in bed - oh God, yes - there's no limitations to when you can eat it. I've eaten it in the bath too. There's this wonderful bubble bath I get made of chocolate - both brown and white. It doesn't taste like much if you try licking yourself but smells wonderful. You get followed by a few wasps afterwards - but that's the only drawback. I wish that restaurants would start serving a chocolate tray after meals - I'd happily pay an extra fiver for that. Something better than a box of stale After Eights.

This Easter the Chocoholics will probably take a trip to the Cadbury factory - that's what we normally do at this time of year. They let us eat whatever we want - things normal members of the public wouldn't be allowed to do.

I was there last year when they were making the Creme eggs. Normally I don't go for that fondanty stuff but when it's freshly chilled off the presses - that's something else. It was real Willy Wonka stuff. We all came out with brown mouths and felt like putting on a sack we felt so bloated.

I don't know what eggs I'll get this year. It's strange but in a way I don't know what to do when I'm surrounded by mounds of chocolate in every direction. I like buying it in bits and pieces - cracking open a fresh packet every time. How could you ever get sick of that?

Interview by Catherine Milner