The seductive and magical world of chocolate….

I could really eat a bar of chocolate right now. One thing is for sure – I’ve always loved chocolate. That hasn’t changed much over the years (unlike my waistline!) What has changed is my level of appreciation for good, high quality chocolate. When I first tasted dark chocolate that had been properly made, I was surprised at how I didn’t react much initially. I thought I knew what chocolate was having grown up with it in massive abundance through parental bribery. It was great – lovely in fact! So smooth, creamy and rich. To me, it was still just ‘chocolate’. Gorgeous, amazingly addictive, chocolate.

Why was it so good?

I’ve worked in the chocolate industry and luxury retail now for just over two years. I still remember my very first day at work in a chocolate shop. I was like a kid let lose. After I had the (very difficult task) of trying and sampling the many different and overwhelming varietes of chocolate, I hadn’t yet realised that my palate had become accustomed to other taste sensations that were not obscured by sugar. Walking home from work I thought I should buy a Cadbury’s fruit and nut bar (you know, for old time’s sake)…I felt sick eating it…all I could taste was sugar and fat.

Yes, I have been utterly spoiled!

Good chocolate needs only a select handful of ingredients. They are cocoa butter, cocoa solids, sugar and soya lecithin. If you look at the label of a chocolate bar, you should really only see these components. Everything else is junk. Not needed. I felt as though I was becoming more familiar with what I was actually eating instead of simply just buying something I ‘thought’ I liked. The truth was – I didn’t actually know the difference between what was good quality and what was bad quality chocolate. If we haven’t tried it, we cannot know!

Dark chocolate is especially good for you. Full of antioxidants. Various studies have shown it may be very good for the heart and lowering blood pressure to name but a few benefits. With all of this, it would be foolish to deny ourselves the pleasure of eating chocolate now and again. Not only does dark chocolate have some excellent health benefits, but it also helps to lift the mood too. There are certain chemical compounds within dark chocolate that can boost our serotonin levels. Not too shabby….

I love working with a product that can inspire the imagaination in such a way – even as grown adults, we cannot fail to be seduced by the simple wonder that is chocolate. So much to try, so much to taste…so much to experience in a world where we can allow ourselves to feel a little magic again….

© Christina McDonald 2014.


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