I love chocolate. Chocolate is definitely one of my favorite things, right up there with cats- except that I don’t eat cats. Actually, I don’t really eat chocolate now either, but I’ve never eaten cats. After my type 1 diagnosis last year, I swore off sugar completely, and I try to avoid artificial sweeteners too, so basically I’ve had A Year Without Chocolate. (I was pregnant when I received my diagnosis, and while that made many things especially difficult, it made giving up sweets easier– it was my baby’s health, not just mine, at stake).
Yesterday, my body said, “feed me chocolate.” And I’m a firm believer in listening to my body, so I did, or maybe I should say- I tried.
I couldn’t let go and gorge on leftover Halloween candy. I couldn’t allow myself to buy something I really love (like peanut M &M’s) because it would be too painful to say good-bye to them again tomorrow. So, following the lead of Catherine Price, I decided to go for dark chocolate. Until yesterday, to me dark chocolate had always been something I associated with huge disappointment. What was worse as a kid then getting your hands on some chocolate, biting into it, and finding out it was bitter? But now as a grown up, wanna-be sophisticated diabetic I figured I could enjoy it.
So with my body shouting, “feed me chocolate,” I went to the store and bought two dark chocolate bars. One was a fancy Swiss bar, Lindt 85% cacao. (There was also a version called ‘a touch of sea salt.’ To that I say, if I wanted salt, I’d buy pretzels). The second was a regular supermarket brand, 60% cacao, which had significantly more grams of carb than the 85%. (I threw out the wrappers, so I don’t have the data here to share. Sorry!).
After the kids were all asleep I called Mike over for a sampling of dark chocolate. The results were: we both hated the 85% bar. The texture was nice, but the flavor was what I imagine chewing on a Tylenol caplet would taste like. The 60% bar was considerably better. Mike kind of liked it. I almost, kind of, sort of liked it, but I didn’t really.
At that point, thoroughly dissatisfied, I decided to read about chocolate, since eating it was going nowhere. Also, I’d never thought about chocolate in percentages before, so I felt like I needed some explanation. Here is a good site to learn about chocolate and the history of chocolate. Next, I consulted someone I consider an expert- Oliver Miller– author of Halloween Smackdown ’09. I asked him to give his opinion of dark chocolate. Oliver said, ” Dark chocolate is gross. And yet people seem to like it in an inverse proportion to its actual grossness. It’s like how people pretend to like Starbucks coffee, when really Starbucks coffee is the burned and nastiest thing of ever. People like to prove “sophistication” by pretending to like bitter things. …Is my theory.”
The question I’m left with after this chocolate adventure is whether it’s worth it to have no chocolate at all, or to have some that isn’t all that great. Probably the former, but I’m willing to keep an open mind.