True Love = Chocolate

Anyone who knows me would most likely know that I LOVE chocolate.  I mean I REALLY love it.  It ranks in my “favorite” list right under my family, my dog and my friends.  Actually, it ranks above some. It would be the last food I’d want to eat on this earth before I go.  I love the bittersweet taste, creamy texture and instant mood enhancement benefits. Now, I’m no Montezuma drinking 50 cups of chocolate a day, but I do eat some every day and feel almost instantly happier and more relaxed. Sure, I can go without (that’s what they all say, right?). I’ve gone chocolate-free in various phases of anti-candida diets, pregnancy and nursing (my daughter couldn’t tolerate it in utero or out for her first year—how could she be mine?!) and missed it every day.   I adore dark chocolate and milk chocolate equally though of course and I’m aware that dark chocolate is far superior in antioxidant value:

  • approximately 61 mg of antioxidants per serving in 80% dark vs. approximately 3 mg of antioxidants in milk chocolate
  • lowers high blood pressure with just 30 calories of dark chocolate a day

As I have low blood pressure and consume other antioxidants, I really just have to worry about the caloric value.  Eat only 30 calories a day of the magical bliss?  I don’t think so.

Currently, I’m adoring Divine 70% Dark Chocolate, savoring slowly the truly divine squares of fair trade, farmer co-owned chocolate from Ghana.  I’m also passionate about Guittard chocolate chips as a small treat for myself and my daughter, who now adores chocolate just like her mama. I discovered Guittard chocolate in the mid-nineties when I interned for my Masters degree in Austin–it helped me get through my final exams–I use chocolate instead of coffee for a lift.  I  also love Rainforest Alliance Certified Salazon Organic Dark Chocolate with sea salt and organic turbinado cane sugar (perfect for PMS) and Equal Exchange Organic Fairly Traded Chocolate Caramel Crunch. Obviously, I’m partial to chocolate bars, but also am quite devoted to local culinary delights made by Little Neva’s, most especially her Jaded Jammies cookies (chocolate/almond with raspberry jam), Macaroon Fudgies and chocolate chip topped Brownie Cakes.  If you are anywhere near Charlottesville, you have to try these mouth watering treats!

I can’t imagine a world without chocolate.  Pre-Industrial Revolution, it was too pricey for the average person to buy.  Quelle horreur!  Even though I’ve never delved into my own chocolate making because of kitchen-induced ADD, I daydream sometimes of becoming a chocolatier. It would be so creative and fun with tasty results and I was inspired by the movie Chocolat, where single mom (me) Vianne (Juliette Binoche) creates positive magic with her chocolate concoctions & hooks up with yummy Roux (Johnny Depp).  I admire from afar chocolatier Katrina Markoff, the creative genius behind Vosges Haut Chocolat.  She has traveled the world and brought back diversity in taste to her Chicago based organic chocolate manufacturing facility that is powered by 100% renewable energy.  My current Vosges faves are the Barcelona Bar with smoked almonds and sea salt and Bapchi’s Caramel Toffee Bar.  I’ll end this love letter with one of Katrina’s awesome mission statements: “Vosges Value No.3 – We trust in the power of our chocolate stories to open minds, spirits and palates.” Hallelujah!

-Brandon Davis

Supplement & Bodycare Department Manager, Rebecca’s Natural Food