And above all… Think Chocolate!
~ Betty Crocker
These are times of enormous difficulty for the conscious eater—we’ve been stripped of soy, corn is cancelled, and under the cloak of the holiday hubbub, the essentially Monsanto-owned FDA just pushed GMO Salmon up the approval stream. I call it fishy. But I would.
The good news? Chocolate rests unmolested, as far as I know, and we can chomp into that dark black love knowing full well it will bring us only sweet relief. Best sources? Who knows. I want to hear from you on that. I like Divine Chocolate a lot. Their farmer-owned fair trade style does it for me. I’ve recently discovered Moonstruck, they are gods. And the dark chocolate and cranberry bark at Kent Coffee and Chocolate is an experience, people.
And does it matter, in the end? Are we going to let this neurotic, enslaving onus to create only the smallest footprint make its holier than cacao way into our dark delicious indulgences, too? Then don’t buy any. Well I mean, really.
We can get into who is fair trade, who is organic, where were the beans sourced, and how the farmers are treating their hired pickers, as well. No we can’t, come to think of it. I’m here to sing chocolate’s praise, not to rain on the dark, steamy, sexy parade of this sweet, lifegiving substance.
When buying chocolate, give first preference to what you really want, and get that.
How’s that for conscious buying choices?
Wherever we source the stuff, chocolate gives us a quiet peace, and that vague feeling that somehow, we are approved of.
Life loves us. Everything is as it should be. When we are able to eat a little chocolate, we are allowing love to make her curvy, sensual way deeply into us. Try the jalapeno mango!
And when I say “a little” chocolate, that can also be read to mean quite a whole lot. Counting chocolate intake as some form of indiscretion is like bringing an alligator to a fancy dress ball. Completely unnecessary, and what are you doing with an alligator, anyway?
Approaching chocolate is best performed without apology. Let the worrisome and beleaguered ones wallow in the quagmire of second thoughts, and go quickly! Racing catlike toward your peaceful and unsuspecting chocolate gazelle, take that sucker down to the veldt floor without hesitation. Skip the mercy. There should be nothing halfway in this relationship.
Don’t wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty. Chocolate isn’t like premarital sex. It will not make you pregnant.
And it always feels good.
~Lora Brody, “Growing Up on the Chocolate Diet”
It is chocolate that sings to us, in melodies dark and delicious, over centuries, calling to our sense of not only what tastes good, but what is right. There’s something in this black healer of woes, this debonaire dresser in sugary evening suit, this dark knight of glandular secretions, which comes from a realm way past a pleasant taste experience.
Chocolate is the first luxury. It has so many things wrapped up in it: Deliciousness in the moment, childhood memories, and that grin-inducing feeling of getting a reward for being good.
~ Mariska Hargitay
Yes it does! Yes of course it does, it slays us with grin energy, but how?
How does chocolate manage its magic?
How does it walk so effortlessly into the rooms of our very well being itself, turning lights on, and opening windows?
Chocolate causes certain endocrine glands to secrete hormones that affect your feelings and behavior by making you happy. Therefore, it counteracts depression, in turn reducing the stress of depression. Your stress-free life helps you maintain a youthful disposition, both physically and mentally. So, eat lots of chocolate!
~ Elaine Sherman, Book of Divine Indulgences
Like a close examination of a random suicide or shooting will quite often reveal a massive huge and genuine influence of prescription drugs, it’s all in the chemicals, my friend. It’s all in the chemicals.
Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food.
~ Michael Levine, “The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars”
The perfection! Michael is not the first to notice chocolate’s power to simply make the day better. Medicinehunter found a perfect quote on this in their chocolate love article.
After water, cocoa is the single healthiest substance you can put in your mouth. It can easily replace a number of psychiatric drugs for mood, plus it produces the same chemistry in the brain that occurs when we fall in love.
~ Chris Kilham, WellBella
Chocolate, The Love Drug” is the name of the piece, and it delves into the biological reasons that chocolate rocks us to the core, among them phanathylamine and anandamide. (Side not to Yogis… the word anandamide is apparently derived from the sanscrit ananda, for “bliss.”) They wrap it up with a reminder that everything rides on your body’s unique chemistry, and individual results may vary.
We have no real fix on what the stuff is going to do to us, which source is loaded with what, and how our receptors are poised to take in the bliss. So dare we take the risk of, at any given moment, not eating some? No! People have known enough to be on this train since before your grandma tried on her first bonnet, sonny boy. The chemical and life- force in this tantalizing substance, be it solid or liquid, has been the subject of praise since just before forever.
Chocolate is a divine, celestial drink, the sweat of the stars, the vital seed, the panacea and universal medicine.
~ Geronimo Piperni, quoted by Antonio Lavedán, surgeon in the Spanish army, 1796
The sweat of the stars. Come on! The sweat of the stars. How is a Spanish Army Surgeon going to ever discover and quote that pure poetry without inspiration touching on divine. And believe me, I’m not the first dude on the corner to lay magic powers at chocolate’s feet.
Tricia at Eating Is Art mentions: “Sometimes I swear chocolate has magical powers.” in her dissemination of the very dangerous “Winning Hearts and Minds” cake here. If you have never tried baking that particular weapon, please run to the store today, bag the ingredients, make the thing, and mail it to me without delay.
The Mayans used to worship the stuff.
They may have printed a calendar that ended before infinity, but who hasn’t? The Aztecs used chocolate as currency. Europeans once enjoyed “Chocolate Houses,” predating our cafes by hundreds and hundreds of years. And they’re coming back, thanks in part to Moonstruck, long may they thrive. Americans have been known to. Well, um. I mean, the Kit Kat (1937) was certainly something. (I know, snobs, I know, but still. Hell of a treat, that.)
Well, we haven’t done anything exceptional with the stuff, truth be told, but that’s all the more reason to keep having some, isn’t it? Any moment is potentially the perfect moment, we know that much. Inspiration could be around any corner.
So keep tasting. Keep loving. Keep trying. We don’t know what’s next, we do know it is probably best met with chocolate.
~ Ed: Lynn Hasselberger