"Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."
- Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump, 1994
That quote from the titular character of the eponymous movie was deliberately portrayed as being simultaneously simple and extremely lucky. It is immediately obvious to anyone who even ponders this thought for more than nine seconds, that if Forrest wanted to know what he was going to get, then he should have just read the thing that tells you what they all are.
I have heard this thing referred to as a directory, a key and a legend but the best name that I've heard for this thing (and the word that I would use if I owned a chocolate company) is a map. The point of a map is to tell you where to go or conversely, to tell you where not to go so that you don't end up somewhere rubbish, like Strawberry Cream land.
Of course there is another way to think about Forrest Gump's comment. You could as he did, just dive in and pick whatever happened to come along and then see what you get without reading the map. Even this is fraught with problems as this inadvertently reveals prejudices.
Do you choose a chocolate that looks like a shell? In my experience, Guylian shells are all horrible and so I wouldn't. Do you choose one that has the impression of a strawberry on it? Again, I wouldn't because past experience of Cadbury Roses and Quality Street tells me that strawberry centres are usually chalky and not very nice. I'm more inclined to pick one that looks more like a diamond or a square. A chocolate in the shape of a crescent is either going to have a banana fondant inside or a hard Brazil nut; so that's a bit of a lottery.
The wrapping of the chocolate is also going to play into my prejudices. A purple wrapper gives me the message that it wants you to think that its a bit posh but it usually turns out to be just boring milk chocolate. A red wrapper could either be cherry or strawberry and so that's also a bit of a lottery. Who even knows what lurks beneath a wrapper of green? Is it mint? Is it pistachio? Is it lime cream? Browns are likely to be caramel, which although they could either be flowing or chewy, are still less exotic than something else.
If you've got something like a box of Favourites or Miniatures, then you know exactly what you're going to get from the outset. This doesn't become a question of what you're going to get but what you're going g to be stuck with once all the nice ones have gone. In my experience, once you've told someone else to "take what they want" then the ones which get left behind are either Cadbury Dream or Nestlé Milky Bar. Now I don't really care what horse the Milky Bar Kid rode in on but if I was sheriff of the podunk town, he'd have to ride off into the sunset quick smart. In my not very well paid opinion, the only excuse for milk chocolate is the top layer on a Top Deck. The only people who have ever pulled off milk chocolate are the Hershey corporation with their Cookies And Creme.
Cote d'Or chocolate is quite frankly amazing and I have never found anything that they've made to be sub par but Lindt and Sprungli need to go back to chocolate school. Not even wrapping up their chocolate in gold foil and moulding it into the shape of a bunny or a bear helps their cause. The people at York who make THE Peppermint Patty need to be put in prison for selling addictive substances because there is no way that anyone in the world can be happy with just one of those little round pieces of paradise and I bet that I could very easily be held at customs if I were to go to New Zealand and come back with a suitcase full of Mighty Perky Nana Bars.
Nothing in the world says "I know nothing about you but I was obligated to buy you a present" than a box of Fererro Rochers. Especially at Christmas, you see vast armies of the little golden grenades just waiting to end up under someone's tree. With Fererro Rochers, you know exactly what you're going to get every single time. Forgive my cussedness but a Rocher is just a vehicle for Fererro's more famous product Nutella and everyone knows that the best way to eat Nutella is directly out of a jar with a great big dessert spoon or a hand trowel.
Perhaps a more correct description of life is that it isn't like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get. Unfortunately that's not true either. So many days are roughly similar to other ones; which means that they are like a box of Fererro Rochers. Some of them aren't sweet at all either; so that means that life is looking less and less like a box of chocolates all the time.
Life is like a pantry. There are some sweet things in it; there are some spicy things and some boring things. Some things you're better off not eating and some things like roaches shouldn't be eaten at all. That's all right though because you won't read most of the labels or cooking instructions anyway.