Before you get too excited, this post won’t be about a person dying by eating too much chocolate; although, sadly, there are a few documented cases.
This won’t be about the relative caffeine content of chocolate vs. coffee vs. tea… World of Caffeine has some interesting information that might make you think twice about eating dark chocolate before bed, but confirms the energy boosting and headache squelching qualities of this legalized psychoactive drug.
It won’t even be about the recent snow and the temptations we all faced of being couch potatoes and over-indulging in some of our favorite treats– some chocolate covered, some piping hot and in a mug.
It won’t be about chocolate allergies or animals that can’t have chocolate lest they succumb to lethal effects of theobromine on their central nervous system. Although, I will include a link to the ASPCA’s Guide to a Pet-Friendly Valentine’s Day!
I won’t bore you with statistics, but Halloween still trumps Valentine’s Day for chocolate sales, yet I don’t think chocolate covered strawberries do well for trick-or-treating.
I won’t mention cocoa plantations supplying the $100+ billion dollar chocolate industry and their sketchy political involvements nor their alleged exploitation of child labor. I’ll let CNN do most of the talking on “Cocoa-nomics.”
There won’t be a recipe for a Death by Chocolate Cake or any references to chocolate treats that may be lurking around my humble abode.
I will spare you an annotated history of Milton Hershey‘s failed business attempts before revolutionizing the candy business into the mass production operation we think of today… Sometimes you just don’t ‘Kiss and Tell.‘ I won’t even talk about The Hershey Company’s involvement in war efforts or Field Ration D bars developed specifically for the US armed forces, even to this day.
Nowhere will I mention the fact that white chocolate is not really chocolate at all, rather it is a chocolate derivative containing milk, sugar, cocoa butter, and flavorings, but no chocolate liquor, which is what makes chocolate real chocolate. Chocolate liquor should not be confused with chocolate liqueur, which some may argue is also real chocolate…but I digress.
I won’t attempt to delve into the profound differences between dark chocolate and milk chocolate, or say that the percentage cocoa content really has no accurate bearing on taste and does not insure the quality of chocolate you are consuming. It boils down to personal preference.
I will, however, tell you that Valentine’s Day is a hard day to lose a loved one. And it can be a difficult day for those who are missing someone they’ve loved and lost. Holidays can be triggers for feelings of grief. While we probably shouldn’t drown our sorrows in molten chocolate– no matter how good it might taste— we can pause to enjoy some of life’s little pleasures, chocolate included.
Whether it’s reaching out to someone you know might be hurting, or reaching in to remember cherished times gone by, don’t be afraid to acknowledge the hard realities of grief, but don’t be afraid to celebrate the good memories either. I challenge you to keep making those good memories, and if you choose to make some of them with chocolate, that’s fine by me. I’ll probably be doing the same!
Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!
What’s your favorite chocolate treat? ….I’m a chocolate pudding fan!