A Secret Pleasure
I eat it alone. Secretively. I take a bar of dark chocolate and examine the calories and the size of the bar. I calculate how many 100-ish calorie portions I can divide the bar into. I break the bar into that many pieces. I keep one piece out to eat and carefully wrap the remaining pieces up to save for another day. I need to put them away right away so I am not tempted to eat more than my 100-calorie portion. I sit and enjoy my chocolate, illicitly, placing a small amount on my tongue and letting it warm up in my mouth so I get the full intensity and complexity of the flavor. Sometimes I forget to pay attention to the taste and mindlessly pop the chocolate into my mouth. I am very disappointed when the chocolate is gone and I realize that I didn’t savor the moment. I feel gypped and want to eat more later.
Very dark chocolate is my favorite. I go as high as 85% and like the bitterness but I find the flavor is more delicious and mellow in the 70%-75% range. I don’t really like a lot of add-ins or flavorings, though coffee is a nice touch. My current favorite is Chocolate Santander, 70%, with coffee bits. It is not bitter or stale or hard or too thick. The texture is smooth and it truly melts in your mouth.
Why am I alone when I eat chocolate? I am embarrassed to enjoy food in such a sensual way. Good girls don’t enjoy. I am embarrassed at my need to control the quantity and the experience. My weirdness will be discovered. And besides, if I am not alone, I am expected to share! Sharing messes up my schedule of allowable chocolate portions. But, as my husband pointed out – he teasingly outed me and my chocolate stash long ago – it is more fun to share. Truly it is. And he still loves me in spite of my weirdness. Now, I just buy more chocolate and share it as much as I can. After I measure out my portion…
Dark Chocolate and Weight
I know it is not news that dark chocolate is good for you, but it can help you control your weight. For me, reserving and looking forward to a treat of dark chocolate every day functions as a signal. The meal is over – time to stop eating the meal because it’s time for my chocolate! And it keeps me from eating other types of desserts that have more calories and are not as healthy. The intensity and the complexity of the flavor are deeply satisfying. If you focus on the experience, you don’t need a lot.
My Vacation Fix
On vacation last week, I got my fix of dark chocolate at a boutique in Newport, RI, Destination Chocolate. After placing each individual beautiful truffle on delicate china saucers (I chose the 75% pure dark chocolate), Carl coached us on how to optimize our chocolate tasting adventure. TWO BITES! Take one bite and place it on your tongue. Notice the flavor. As it melts, press your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Fully finish the first bite before taking the second bite. After that, it’s up to you to enjoy!