Saturday, April 3, 2010

C is for Chocolate

"Mamma, why do you get so many chocolates?", my younger one asked me. "Don't you know if you eat chocolates, you will get cavities?"
"Sorry, Sweetheart. I didn't know that. From now on, I wouldn't keep chocolates in the house."
"No that is okay", he assured me, putting on a martyred expression. "I can put up with a few cavities, but if you don't stock chocolates, Papa will be upset."

I have a lot to learn from my son- lessons on getting my way with a smile, lessons on diplomacy, and lessons on wriggling out of tricky situations.

But this is not about my son. This is about Chocolate, even though you can never talk about one without also talking about the other.

Chocolate! That most wonderful thing which you reach for, not because you are feeling happy or sad, or because you are hungry or full, but which you reach for simply because you want to.

Scientific studies have tried to explain why people reach for chocolate. Chocolate contains a high level of phenylethylamine (PEA), which occurs naturally in the brain where it releases dopamine in the mesolimbic centres for pleasure. PEA plays a vital role when we fall in love and feel passion, and it was propounded that since chocolate is packed with the molecule, it stimulated similar emotions. How strongly the PEA in chocolate actually affects our emotions is disputed - most of the PEA ingested orally is metabolised long before it reaches the central nervous system, so the effect can at best be minimal.

That may be the case, but I can think of few things that give me more pleasure than a bar of chocolate. I don't need chocolate to cheer me up- I savour it because of what it is. Like my favourite t-shirt says "Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed. Chocolate makes it worthwhile."

And anyone who doubts that love for chocolate is hereditary need look no further than my younger son. My maternal grandmother was a chocoholic, my father was a chocoholic, I am a chocoholic- guess what my younger one is!


Al said...

I am a confirmed chocoholic.
However, there is a genetic predisposition to not being able to eat chocolate in my family.
My mother gets violent migraines when she eats a trace of chocolate. One of my daughters also suffers from the same affliction if she eats too much.
Thank goodness the problem seems to have skipped my generation.

Cathy said...

Chocolate - now you're talking !!

Anonymous said...

What a delicious and joyful picture!

A square of dark chocolate every day is what keeps me going.

arlee bird said...

C day wouldn't be complete without at least one post on chocolate. But I bet nobody else posts a science lesson like you did. I keep hearing evidence that chocolate is good for you, which is always a good argument for keeping some on hand. Chocolate -- mmmmm.

Momo's Ma said...

a chocolate(gems specifically) us a sureshot way to bring a smile to my crying baby's face. am not a choco freak at all n there is always a bar lying in my freezer.


Most informative, I gave up chocolate a few years ago except for having a hot choolate before going to bed. Loved the photo, brought back many memories of my 3 when young.


The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Oh yes I am so a chocoholic! Nice post!

Ann Elle Altman said...

What a cute picture. Your son is making me hungry. My husband is a chocoholic but I prefer salty snacks mostly. Love your alphabet challenge.

Trevor Peck said...

This confirms what my wife and kids have been telling me all along - I'm a freak of nature! Why? I'm not really a big fan of chocolate...BUT...I'm all about the COFFEE. Hold up now, I do REALLY LIKE chocolate in my coffee!

Love in the Truth.

Shannon said...

C is for Chocolate...Thanks for this post...I love chocolate in all its wonder! Your little one is adorable...and trevor chocolate in coffee is is peppermint. Thanks for being in this challenge..I am following you now!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Chocolate also satisfies those monthly cravings...

I no longer eat chocolate - gave it up eight years ago. It was a weakness and I was trying to alter my eating habits and return to a normal weight. (My husband and I both succeeded, too.) It took about four months before those monthly cravings vanished. Now I really have no desire for it!

So you can have my share!

Anonymous said...

I am a chocoholic too. :) Thinking I should take the advice of the poster above me though!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like chocolate!

Jan Morrison said...

crazy chocoholic chicks cheerfully chomp, chew & channel creativity...

dipali said...

Chocoholics unite!
Lovely photograph, Rayna:)

Lady Jayne said...

That picture really makes me smile. So cute!


Not enough hours! said...

@ Al - I can't imagine anything sadder than getting a headache after eating chocolate. Maybe there is something to all that dopamine stuff.

@ Cathy - dead right!

@ Fiona - younger one aged 3 1/2 - did I tell you his first word was "Chocolate"?

@ Arlee - What is a fridge without chocolate?

@ Momo's Ma - ah, what would we mothers do without gems?

@ Yvonne - hot chocolate is also chocolate, isn't it?

@ The Alliterative Allomorph - thanks

@ Ann - I like salty snacks too :-)
And yes, the challenge is turning out to be more fun than I expected.

@ Trevor - my mother doesn't care too much for chocolate either, which suited my father and me fine! But chocolate in coffee counts as chocolate

@ Shannon - thank you. And nothing as wonderful as chocolate, is there?

@ Diane - I admire anyone who can give up chocolate. I was asked to give up coffee, and have succeeded, but chocolate? What is life without chocolate?

@ melodygreen - you could, but why? Chocolate is not bad for you, and we do have the right to a few indulgences, don't we?

@ Alex - I notice you said "like" and not "love"

@ Jan - now that is perfect. Why are you not doing the challenge, Jan?

@ Dipali - thanks! That's my birthday cake.

@ Jayne - thanks!


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