I know that everyone that has always lived in Erie, or go home often will tell me that I should be disappointed that it isn't Romolos, because that is still made by the original family. And maybe I would be if it wasn't for the strong ties I have with Stefanelli's.
My amazing hubby to be listened when I talked to him about my childhood, about my Grammie sending it to us over the years and how it was always a symbol of home. During all our chats online, when I wasn't easy to understand and we couldn't talk on the phone easily, he heard my heart.
He had no idea how to spell Stefanelli's, he just knew it was important to me and one of the things I missed the most... for me Stefanelli's was a link to home, to a Grammie that I desperately missed, it was memories, it symbolized love.
He started a hard target search, he was determined to find my chocolate... I still remember the chats asking me what kind of chocolates I liked... not knowing what he was talking about I said I was okay with Dove or Hershey if I had to eat American chocolates. (Remember I grew up in Europe and unless we are discussing the chocolates of home, which I had forgotten I had mentioned to him, I will always choose a good German, Belgian or Swiss chocolate). I thought he was slightly crazy when he gently threw in questions several conversations in a row about did I like nuts, or creamy filling, or what, I truly was getting concerned.
I had never thought to look online for Stefanelli's, honestly I figured with Grammie gone and me rarely getting home to Erie, that the Sponge Candy I loved was simply a thing of the past.
Ten years ago just before Valentine's Day a box arrived, filled with Sponge candy and a larger box of mixed chocolates as he never could determine my favorites. My heart melted just like the chocolates of my youth. I called a fiend of mine that also lived in New Mexico, but was from Erie and told her and the only question she had besides would I share, was did he have a brother! Good thing he doesn't have one living, I don't think her hubby would have understood.
He has had it flown to me on my birthday (in August) on dry ice just to surprise me, but the most important time is Valentines... he can never wait until Valentine's day... I always get it early, and each year he has to get more creative in order to surprise me. I have to admit I have come to expect it, I think I will be devastated if he ever forgets it. Not because I feel he owes me a gift, but because to me it now symbolizes more than Grammie, home, memories, and family love... now it is pure, unselfish love. I will savor it for weeks, hiding it from everyone, because each sweet morsel tells me that he loved me enough to listen to the little things and make them big things for me.
|Oh yes I will share my chocolate with you!|