The Milano Effect

A companion piece to If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again

In case you don’t know, and, if so, I feel sorry for you and suggest you immediately rectify the situation, a milano is a type of cookie. Two, oval-shaped, pale cookies held together by a thick layer of chocolate.

A bag of delicious milano cookies. Yum!

The cookies have just a hint of light brown where the dough swirls to a gentle peak. 

The smooth, firm milk chocolate interior is just the right balance between the flaky exterior. 

As a child, my mother would, oh so occasionally, buy Pepperidge Farm’s Milano cookies.

They came in a white paper bag, a picture of the cookie on the exterior. You unrolled the top, pulled apart the two sides and were immediately hit with the scents of butter and chocolate. Gazing down you spied about five cookies nestled together in white, frilly paper. Underneath, hidden from few, was a second cache with five additional cookies. 

I loved them. Milanos. The colors, texture, taste, scent. Before my first bite, I would look to see if the cookies were perfectly aligned or slightly askew. Was there a drip of chocolate on one side? 

Milanos nestled in their frilly paper holder.

The promise. The anticipation. 

Nothing could be better than enjoying a milano or two.

Seeing my delight, my mother at some point decided to make milanos a more regular treat. And, as their presence in our cupboard grew routine, I enjoyed them less. 

Knowing they would be there, I ceased to savor them. 

And that’s when I fully understood The Milano Effect.

Some things are meant to be special. Can, in fact, only survive in their full glory when access is limited.

One of my sons loves the chocolate hazelnut spread nutella. I started to buy it more often until he told me that nutella is his milano. 

Of course, I immediately understood.

We only have nutella occasionally now. And, when he opens the cupboard and finds it there, the mischievous, happy smile of anticipation on his face is all that I could wish. 

9 thoughts on “The Milano Effect

  1. After feeling warm and fuzzy and then full if anticipation from “If at first…,” With this I laughed. I squirmed with vicarious thrill, I felt joy, and dismay, and love for the familial recognition. And of course, now I want a damn Milano!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nicely done! Each piece is lovely in its own right, describing very different emotions and evolutions, but together they are greater than the sum of their parts. Impressive! Really wow!


  3. Thanks! I had been playing with how to write up Pettigrew joining us in our room. I kept thinking about it from his point of view and just couldn’t get it to come together. The two pieces, written from my point of view, conveyed the message I wanted. Thanks for reading and sharing your reaction!


  4. good post; I can understand your enthusiasm; I wrote a similar post recently about tiramisu called ‘The Last Tiramisu’; food is one of life’s finest gifts and pleasures; it is there to be enjoyed and celebrated 🙂 ‘Food poems’ are an under-appreciated sub genre of poetry 🙂


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