From Mariah Carey to Terry's Chocolate Orange: let's talk Christmas... ish | Jack Marshall's column

If you look up a graph of the undulating popularity of Mariah Carey’s festive hit ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ through the year, you’ll find the expected: namely that people listen to it at Christmas.

Monday, 20th December 2021, 4:55 am
Terry's Chocolate Orange: yes, yes, yes

This makes sense. A few excitable folks may push the boundaries in November (probably those people who put the Christmas tree up as soon as the Halloween decorations come down) but, all-in-all, there’s agreement. ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ is a Christmas thing.

But here I type before you to make a case. A case that, with other quintessentially Christmas things, we should be more flexible.

Exhibit A: Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Straight off the bat, a query: is TCO even strictly a Christmas thing? In a way, yes - an online poll saw it voted the UK’s favourite Christmas chocolate. In another way, no - 44m TCOs are sold annually. Those are year-round stats, baby.

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So, as per the Mariah Paradigm, the humble TCO is not a pure Christmas thing. But then again, neither are presents (see: birthdays) and the concept of gluttony (see: my Saturday Aldi shops), and what would Christmas Day be without them?

Anyways, this whole tortured preamble is basically a way to allow me to talk about Terry’s Chocolate Oranges because I love them and I wanted to write about them in a festive and jolly manner. Hence why I’ve catfished you with Christmas chat. Consider yourself duped.

Two cool things about TCO: one, the Terry’s Chocolate Apple (I KNOW) actually predates the now-ubiquitous TCO and two, our much-beloved British fruity choc is actually made in France (just don’t tell your Brexity uncle as he’s chomping a few segments on Boxing Day).

The TCO is a jigsaw of deliciousness, each confectionary carpel (the official name for an orange segment - every day’s a school day) so intricate. But, like an ape, you smash it with the ball of your fist to skew the orange open. This is the done thing.

For the mouth, one carpel is insufficient but two render it claggy and in need of tea. If you eat them in threes or halves, you’re a maniac and we can’t be friends. But enough messing; let’s get to the best bit, shall we?

The Core™ of the TCO is where it’s at. A noble choccy needle of goodness, it flakes into the foil wrapper, the antithesis of the polished segments which encircle it. Sometimes The Core™ is welded to its own carpel. Praise be: the TCO jackpot.

It’s almost Christmas. Mariah may be on right now. But, if you are sans Terry’s Chocolate Orange, I pity you.