Dietribes: Death by Chocolate

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This post is dedicated to all my fellow chocoholic Flossers, who might dare strive to drink 50 cups of chocolate a day as Montezuma, the Aztec king, was said to do. Or just anyone who likes to have a little cocoa here and there. Happy Valentine's Day!

"¢ There are, of course, several varieties of chocolate ranging from milk to very dark. So-called "white chocolate" (can you sense my chocolate snobbery?) isn't chocolate in the technical sense, since it's comprised of cocoa butter, sugar and milk, but no actual cocoa solids.

"¢ Finding just the right consistency that "melts in your mouth and not in your hand" can be difficult. The melting point of cocoa butter is just below the human body temperature -- explaining why it literally melts in your mouth.

"¢ Legend has it that Forrest Mars, Senior met soldiers in the Spanish Civil war eating chocolates covered in a hard shell that prevented them from melting. The inspiration paid off, and M&Ms became a popular snack for soldiers in WWII.

"¢ Besides being a delicious and occasionally decadent treat, chocolate has plenty of other values. It can fuel a car, be used as fake blood (like in the shower scene in Psycho), work as a band-aid (er, sorta), and possibly even help stop global warming. Did I also mention certain varieties have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and helped aid in the invention of the microwave?

"¢ Though Richard Cadbury came up with the first heart shaped box in the 1860s, and much of Valentine's day is about the familiar heart symbol since, some may prefer a chocolate heart that's a bit more ... anatomically correct.

"¢ More evidence of the impending Robot Revolution, and the kind of candies they will enjoy: Mars, IBM, and the Department of Agriculture have teamed up to sequence and analyze the entire cocoa genome in the hopes of unleashing a stronger, disease-resistant, genetically superior coca plant!

"¢ If you simply can't get enough chocolate, visit "Chocolate Covered February" in Hershey, PA. But make sure your trip includes the Hotel Hershey Chocolate Spa "“ whipped cocoa bath, choice of a chocolate bean polish or Chocolate Sugar Scrub, and 50-minute Cocoa Massage and lunch. No matter how much you love chocolate though, you still might not want to get stuck in a vat of it.

"¢ Those of you in the Boston area may need to consume some chocolate in order to activate your serotonin levels, because a tax on sweets might be coming - watch out!

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What are some of your favorite kinds of chocolate, Flossers? Any that you despise? I'm a dark chocolate girl myself - at least 60% cocoa for me to even find it worthy of consumption!

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.

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February 11, 2009 - 6:34am
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