Honestly, what can chocolate not cure? It definitely puts a dent in a case of the blues. Hot cocoa can chase the winter chills from your toes and fingers. Birthday cakes can come in many flavors, but chocolate with fluffy Seven Minute Frosting is often the centerpiece of our family celebrations. Chocolate-coated Santas appear in our stockings on Christmas eve, and the Easter Bunny – well, he is a goldmine for those of us who lust for the dark, creamy stuff. Chocolate is a way to say “I love you!” on Valentine’s Day, and at Halloween my kids would not have had the same delight in their trick-or-treat haul without m&ms, Snickers, Milky Ways, Almond Joys, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Refined Theobroma cacao comes in many shades and there are so many ways to consume it. Scientists report that melting chocolate in your mouth produces an increase in brain activity and heart rate more intense than that associated with passionate kissing, lasting four times as long after the activity had ended, and the dark variety is full of good-for-us antioxidents, giving us plenty of excuses for our consumption even if our caloric intake rises a bit. From hot fudge to chocolate chip cookies to gold-foiled candies, chocolate embodies the concept of comfort food and indulgence.
I do have some friends who don’t like chocolate. Though I have a hard time understanding them, I am tolerant and try to be respectful of their lack of chocolate receptors. I do not encourage them to indulge and we agree to disagree. After all, that just leaves more for me.