Once upon a time, I was totally down with Hershey bars. And Milky Ways, and Three Musketeers, and Kit Kat, and Rolos. And Twix. Freakin’ Twix, man…
For as long as I can remember, life is about chocolate. Growing up, the Nesquik Bunny was my homeboy. Of course, back then, it was just called Quik and he was just a brown bunny. And it came in a tin container, and the lid was awkward to open because you had to be careful about popping it up too fast and getting chocolate powder all up in the kitchen. But then there was the syrup and that was so much easier. I loaded my chocolate milk with that stuff. I think my chocolate milk was actually more chocolate than milk. I would put chocolate syrup on top of Cocoa Puffs.
It was bad.
But now it’s good. Not because I stopped eating chocolate. I eat chocolate everyday. Except now I’m actually tasting chocolate, and not just sugar of various forms. Once in a blue moon, like on Halloween, I will totally eat one of the baby Twix bars, but I can’t handle much. Despite the nostalgic factor, I’m just not used to things that are so processed anymore. This past Easter I had a Cadbury egg. Another childhood friend. It was definitely awesome, but I nearly choked on the sweetness. And then I felt it just hanging out in my stomach for a little while. One and I’m done.
This is what I eat nowadays.
Yep. Ninety percent cocoa. You’ve seen on the supermarket shelves sixty percent, seventy, eighty, maybe even eighty-five percent. But this is where I’m at now. When these first came out, and I saw them on the shelf at the Lindt store, I think I heard angels singing.
It’s not for the faint of heart. You have to work your way up to this point. I once thought seventy percent was dark. Then I graduated to eighty and eighty-five percent, and I thought, Yeah, I’m hardcore! I was naive. Now, I know. I have seen the dark.
I would describe this chocolate as velvety. The cocoa flavor is very deep, but soft. It’s like stepping onto really fine-grain sand at night. I know that sounds weird, but I feel it’s appropriate. Then the serotonin effect washes over, and you realize that now you really know what chocolate is. The sugar is finally not in the way. Instead, the small amount that’s in this bar is just giving the cocoa a little boost.
The dark chocolate rabbit I still have leftover from Easter has twenty grams of sugar in a forty-three gram serving. But it’s all too easy for some people to eat more than that; they think they’re hooked on the chocolate, but in truth it’s the sugar that’s bringing them back. A forty gram serving of the ninety percent bar has only three grams of sugar. That’s crazy awesome. Yet it’s difficult to even eat more than ten or twenty grams of the ninety percent because of its intensity; just one square really delivers. So realistically, that’s even less sugar.
In addition to the lack of sugar, the forty gram serving actually provides twenty-five percent the recommended amount of iron. Whaaa? Plus four grams of protein and five grams of fiber. Like I said, it’s a bit much to eat more than half that amount, but it’s impressive that you can get a decent amount of an essential nutrient from chocolate. And surely, you’ve heard that cocoa has antioxidants, yes?
So there’s my argument for chocolate. Cheaper and healthier than street drugs. Soon I’ll just start snorting cocoa powder.