Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dark Chocolate, Anyone?

Sven had a hankering for chocolate last night, so we drove down to Cumberland Farms. I do not keep chocolate in the house, because I’m a chocoholic. Mother must have dribbled Hershey's syrup into my Pablum. Actually, chocolate addiction runs in the family. My grandmother passed me handfuls of M & Ms when no one else was looking. My dad kept his own private stash of Lindt nuggets under lock and key. On weekly trips to the Giant supermarket in DC, I would trot right down to the candy aisle. Oh, chocolate, food of the Gods! The Mars Bars and the Milky Ways . . . the Snickers and the Three Mousquateers . . . the Mounds and the Almond Joys . . . the Fifth Avenues, the Babe Ruths . . . the Peppermint Patties! As soon as I got my allowance, I would bike up to the soda fountain for a chocolate ice cream soda with chocolate – not vanilla – ice cream and a cherry on top. I didn’t even have to give the lady my order. She recognized me as a regular: “Hi there, hon. One chocolate special, coming right up.” The soda cost 26 cents. With the change, I bought Hershey bars …

Trying to latch onto the recent health craze, Hershey has added Special Dark to its stable of chocolate treats, which is what was available at Cumberland Farms. A seal on the wrapper claims Special Dark is a “natural source of flavorful antioxidants.” Do not get taken in. I read the fine print. This new bar contains only 45% cacao and way too much sugar. In his book Anticancer, David Servan-Schreiber recommends at least 70% cacao to achieve any health benefit.

And, the place to go in Wellfleet, at this time of the year, for real dark chocolate? Wellfleet Marketplace, of course. It stocks two different brands, offering a choice of 70%, 77% or 86% cacao. Each bar costs around four dollars. Expensive! So expensive, I did not buy any.

Some people can break off small squares to eat like medicine. As I said above, I cannot resist eating the whole bar at one sitting. How about you? Are you able to incorporate dark chocolate into your diet?