It’s late evening by the pool. I’m scraping the last of a delectable chocolate mousse. My first experience of chocolate comes to mind.
When I was six, my parents were addicted to health food. My mother’s kitchen was always well stocked with vegetables, fruits, beans, high fiber cereal, tofu, nuts, seeds, and yogurt. They were in heaven when tempeh was introduced to the U. S.
The closest I ever got to chocolate was when my mother made carrot cake with carob frosting. Later, I learned that ancient Egyptians used carob as glue to paste together strips of linen on mummies. That did not inspire me to love carob but it did explain what carob was good for.
I learned that ancient Egyptians used carob as glue to paste together strips of linen on mummies.
For my mother, real chocolate was Arch Enemy # 1 for kids. “Too much sugar,” she would say. “It’s bad for your teeth.” So, chocolate was out of reach. It was my apple in the Garden of Eden.
I was in the first grade and it was lunchtime. Everyone opened their lunch boxes and brown bags to reveal the goodies inside. Me included. I had a carton of rice milk, a dark brown bread sandwich spread with humus and a small bunch of grapes.
Everyone else had the forbidden foods: hot dogs, fried chicken, apple pie, cookies. But Nelson, the boy next to me had the real treasure, the one thing I had always wondered about – a chocolate bar. He slid off the paper wrapper to reveal gleaming silver foil. He peeled back the foil and there it was – a slab of dark brown velvety aromatic chocolate. The smell was irresistible. What could it taste like?
Nelson saw me staring at it wide-eyed. “You want a piece?” he asked. Nelson’s smile showed perfect white teeth. Sorry Mom!
I heard music. Do I want a piece? Yes, yes, yes.
I was not disappointed. The flavor exploded in my mouth and I knew I had lost myself to chocolate. It owned me and I said, “Yes!”
And there started my life long relationship with chocolate. Chocolate Easter bunnies, chocolate pudding, chocolate cake, brownies, chocolate fountains, chocolate covered cherries, and of course, my favorite – chocolate mousse.
In college my devotion to chocolate was justified with this song I learned:
“Some people say chocolate is sinful,
And some say that chocolate’s obscene,
But I know that chocolate’s a veggie,
Cause chocolate is made from a bean!”
So, here I am years later with fond, fond memories of the evil forbidden fruit and the last bit of mousse still lingering on my tongue. Warm breezes pass through the garden. The fragrance of jasmine perfumes the air. Max is in the house listening to classical music.
I know in my heart, at this moment, there is a Chocolate Goddess and she has blessed me.
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