Getting all chocolatey

For two weeks now, my life was all chocolaty…at work. My team of researchers and I have been doing in depth study of chocolate markets (those reading my Facebook status messages would get the idea).   I read quite a few facts about it everytime I looked up an online chocolate resource. Like, dark chocolates are increasingly becoming the preferred confection in Europe, Asia and Australia. Or that Holland processes 40% of all cocoa produced in the world. The annual per capita consumption of chocolate in Switzerland is 12kg compared to 4kg in Holland and just 400 grams in India!

The Aztecs did not have a Van Houten press to separate cocoa butter from chocolate. Nor did they have the sugars. Instead they brewed their own cocoa drink with spices and peppers! They believed that cocoa  was an aphrodisiac and their king Montezuma always had some before entering his harem. What they did not know was that apart from the flavanoids and anti oxidants, chocolate also had opiods (also found in opium). Opiods dull any pain and generate a feeling of well being in the mind. Combined with phenylethylamine, sugars and caffeine present in chocolate , they increase blood circulation, increase heart beat and refresh the mind – the net effect is the same fuzzy wuzzy feeling of being in love.

The exposue to chocolate market was already doing some ‘chemical ka locha’ in my mind. So I decided to taste my own 400 grams worth – preferably dark chocolate that seemed to be capturing every connoisseur’s imagination these days.  I bought some on my way home from office and deposited it in my refrigerator and later promptly forgot about it. This morning I took out the big bar of Cadbury Bournville Dark Chocolate along with a can of Diet Pepsi. There wasn’t much to do on a Sunday morning except TV and emails as I munched on the bar and sipped the cola. A little later as i was watching TV my train of thoughts led to the conversation I had with my little nephew the previous day as we watched Spiderman on TV at my brother’s home. I felt like calling him and speaking to him. The train of thoughts led me to the memories of my pet and its puppies and how I played with them. I felt like going back in time and cuddling them all over again. It was then I realised that the chocolate was doing its work. Probably the caffeine in the Pepsi added to the rush of warm fuzzy wuzzies I was experiencing. The whole thing lasted a few minutes before I was back to listless channel surfing. So it works!

Chocolate may have long been associated with feminine romanticism but men are equally vulnerable to the feel good thing. Imagine how Montezuma would have felt when he saw his favourite queen in the harem! Dark chocolate is therefore a great way to beat depression. Psychiatrists should be prescribing it as a diet. You should have one before you meet your boss each morning. Probably it is the economic meltdown that is increasing the consumption of dark chocolate than its exclusivity. People are seeking a release from the gloom of these depressing times. But I never get this. With 12 Kg per capita annual consumption, why are the Swiss still a grumpy lot?


1 comment so far

  1. Shuunya on

    “But I never get this. With 12 Kg per capita annual consumption, why are the Swiss still a grumpy lot?”

    Perhaps it’s the fondue? 🙂

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