We need to talk about Tim Tams. These little chocolate bombs are the dessert you probably didn’t even know you needed, and that’s too bad. But you will have a hard time finding them in America once you’re hooked.
I remember the first time I realized that American dessert is a total sham. It was in London, and I was handed half a candy bar by someone who couldn’t finish it. Never being one to turn down free candy from people I barely know — or ever, in any situation — I ate it. I don’t remember what kind it was; I just remember feeling betrayed. As a resident of Hershey, Pennsylvania, I was sure I knew what chocolate was. I didn’t. If you’ve had British chocolate, you know the feeling.
Now imagine that feeling, magnified by a factor of duodecillion, and that’s what it’s like to put a Tim Tam — a delicious Australian cookie biscuit made of chocolate creme sandwiched between crispy malted chocolate and dipped in chocolate — in your mouth. You don’t just eat Tim Tams — you have a relationship with them, and it looks like this:
1. Someone introduces you to Tim Tams
Maybe it’s your Australian friend or some other person who has been to Australia lately. They hand you a packet of the treat. “You have to check out Tim Tams,” they tell you. You’re not sure. After all, Tim Tams are biscuits, and what’s wrong with American cookies?
2. You become infatuated
After your first Tim Tam, all you want to do is lock yourself indoors and celebrate this newfound love. Everything is more enjoyable with Tim Tams: a cup of coffee, a little Netflix, stolen rendezvous at the office…
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3. You can’t shut up about your new love
You’re starting to annoy the crap out of people, but you can’t help it. Is it really so wrong that you just want everyone to have what you have? You decline invitations to go get frozen yogurt because you already have the only dessert you need. If your friends can’t understand this kind of love, well, what kind of friends are they? You stop taking calls.
4. The honeymoon phase ends
You will eventually finish your tray of Tim Tams. One day you will wake up to have your morning coffee Tim Tam, and you will notice that it is the last one. “It’s OK,” you think. “I’ll just get some more when I go to the store later.”
5. The long-distance phase begins
You do not get more when you go to the store later, because the shelves there are stocked with garbage cookies. It’s then that you remember that America was never Tim Tams’ home. They’re in Australia, you’re in America, and there are miles of ocean and loneliness between you.
You frantically Google phrases like “where can I buy Tim Tams in America” and “Tim Tams America pls” and “oh god tim tams whyyyyyyy”
You sullenly order some off of Amazon, paying too much for Tim Tams’ transportation but accepting that long-distance relationships are hard work.
6. You stray a little
You’re only human, after all. You have needs. Maybe one day you see that Target is selling something called Tim Tams, but the package isn’t the same. The taste isn’t the same. It just isn’t the same. In your weakest moment, you aren’t proud to admit that you may have bought some Oreos.
7. You break up with Tim Tams for a while
It’s just too much. The shipping fees, the roller coaster of emotion that starts with the high of tearing off the wrapper of a new tray and ends with the low of heartbreaking crumbs, the guilt and shame of turning to Chips Ahoy when your family asks you to pick up dessert at the store — it’s all too much. You decide you need a break from this — you start taking calls from your friends again and appreciate that they welcome you back and give you solace.
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8. You always come back to Tim Tams. Why can’t you quit Tim Tams?
One day, you’ll be doing something mundane, like tidying the house or making some corpo spreadsheet thing and, with a pang of intense emotion, you’ll think, “Gee, it might be nice to see Tim Tams again.” You shouldn’t. You know you shouldn’t. The pain of separation is too great. But you do.
You always will.