Who likes chocolate?
BY KELLY JAMIESON
In my January release With Strings Attached, my heroine Corey is a chocolatier. She makes fine, hand-crafted chocolates. She actually makes the chocolate herself, from raw cacao beans which she imports from a plantation in Brazil. She roasts them, then grinds them to remove the husks. Then she grinds the winnowed beans again to liquefy the cocoa butter and adds other ingredients— sugar and milk powder, sometimes vanilla. The mixture next goes into a conch machine, where rollers continuously knead the batch of chocolate liquor and ingredients for several hours. It’s a labor intensive process, but she produces amazing chocolates, which she charges a premium price for.
Chocolate is something a lot of people are passionate about. Strangely, I’m not one of them. Don’t get me wrong – I like it. But I’m not a “chocoholic” and rarely get a craving for it. But I do like good chocolate. At Christmas when we end up with boxes of chocolates people give at work or as hostess gifts, I’m really not even interested if they’re cheap and waxy. I’d rather eat one really good, dark chocolate truffle than a bunch of bleh chocolate.
Why do some people like chocolate so much? Well, chocolate actually has “feel good properties”. In With Strings Attached, Corey tells her surfer buddy Dylan:
“Eating chocolate is a sensory experience— it’s smooth and rich. Dark chocolate is the only food that makes our brain produce endorphins, just like an orgasm.”
Dylan choked on his beer. “Uh…well, that’s good!”
She grinned. “It’s true. Chocolate boosts serotonin, the brain’s antidepressant, and it stimulates the secretion of endorphins, which helps with stress levels and even pain. And there are anti-oxidants in it that protect our body from damaging free radicals.”
So I guess I can see why some people become addicted to chocolate! That’s some good stuff!
Are you a chocoholic who craves it? Can you take it or leave it? Anyone hate chocolate?