From time to time I revisit posts from the past – today is one. When the world is upsetting and things go a bit pear shaped, there’s always chocolate… so as you parade the aisles at your local supermarket deciding what to purchase or not this Easter, consider a few points about the benefits and joys of chocolate, and make sure you get some for those you love and for yourself.
Chocolate – do I love thee: let me count the ways…
Valentine’s Day is behind us, Easter is to come – both times celebrated with chocolate. If you’re the tiniest bit Catholic and guilty it’s Lent and the time to give up things and many people (mostly women, I bet) give up chocolate. So be it, I am not so inclined. Why should you give up one of life’s simplest and purest pleasures because of some out-dated notion? Anyway, most people I know take up the forsaken ‘sin’ as soon as Lent is over, so what is the point, exactly?
Let us consider the benefits of chocolate. It is now established beyond doubt that chocolate, especially dark chocolate helps you to feel good – it excites all those chemicals in the brain that keep you feeling happier and calmer. It does, in fact, help depressives. Some chocolate every day keeps the Prozac at bay.
Chocolate is not in short supply, nor does its harvesting damage the planet. So you can indulge without worrying about the Ozone Layer, the melting of the polar caps, drowning polar bears or water levels rising.
Chocolate doesn’t have to be expensive. Sure, you can spend a fortune on expensive Belgian chocolates and some exclusive hand-made brands (yes, you can tastes the difference), but you can just as easily spend less than a dollar/pound on your daily/weekly indulgence. At the moment Malteaser bunnies are 3 for a £1 – now really, that is a bargain.
Chocolate is a one-size-fits-all sort of present. Very few people are unhappy to receive a box of chocolates for their birthday or Christmas. And if they are, then someone they know will help them out. It’s hard to offend someone with chocolates. Always recommended for dinner invitations.
Chocolate addiction is not a crime that blights our society. Too much chocolate does not incapacitate you, incline you to violence, kill your liver, or induce you to hurt others. At best it makes you chubby: possibly it hastens diabetes, but I don’t believe that for a moment.
Chocolate comes in many forms, to suit many situations, permutations and perturbations. Chocolate bars, shells, oranges and a plethora of confections. Chocolate biscuits cannot be overlooked – the queens being the Gaiety and the TimTam- all others are shabby wannabes. Chocolate cakes of too many varieties to list. Chocolate ice cream, of course. Hot chocolate to sip by the fire. And if you must be healthy then dip your strawberries in it!
You can and should eat chocolate everyday. You can eat it any time of day in any quantity. But the best, I think, is at night, your little treat at the end of a long or enjoyable day – a morsel of what YOU like best.
My advice is to have a bar of Toblerone or a box of Ferrero Rocher, or a bag of Crème Eggs, or whatever you love best, hidden away somewhere from those in your family who have to eat the whole packet at once. Then you can, in quiet moments in the evening, have enough to make you feel good, but not guilty, and feel the reassuring texture and taste of chocolate warm and melting in your mouth. It’s guaranteed to give you good dreams. (Oh, but do clean your teeth properly or you’ll need to surrender your mouth to the dentist too often. Re-read an older blog on the ‘joys’ of dentists if you need convincing.)