I’m not sure why I have such a tough time remembering that you really can have too much of a good thing. It’s a simple concept, so why doesn’t it stick?
When I gave up dairy (over one month ago– woohoo!), I also needed to give up my secret favourite snack: milk chocolate. Milk chocolate was always one of those things that I felt I had to sneak or hide unless I was around Marty, who accepted my shameful love for it. In public, though, I always wanted to come across as a ‘dark chocolate’ person: somebody who appreciated sinful chocolate-y indulgence every once in a while but who naturally gravitated towards indulgence of the sophisticated variety– dark chocolate. (I feel the same way about green tea. For some bizarre reason, I find myself wanting to impress people by tossing the word ‘sencha’ into certain conversations, but the truth is I don’t care much for green tea at all. (Unless I am at a sushi restaurant.) And not like ordering a green tea would really impress anybody or speak wonders about my solid moral character anyway. And also: I’m not really trying to impress anybody in the first place so I don’t know why I’d ever need to make a public display of ordering green tea…)
But back to the point: milk chocolate.
I am well aware of the reasons why people look down on milk chocolate: many of the varieties are heavily processed and laden with nasty fats and refined sugars, it can be waxy, it conjures up images of greedy fingers shovelling cheap garbage into their overstuffed mouths and bellies (Mr. Big bar, anybody?), and it carries nasty political and ethical implications on a global scale, too. Blood Chocolate!!
But: I always enjoyed the smoothness and creaminess of a fairly-traded, organic, plain milk chocolate bar. The problem was I could eat a ton of it in any one sitting and also, it contained evil dairy which I found myself needing to eliminate. So, out of necessity, I decided to give dark chocolate another go.
First of all: I was stunned at how many ‘dark’ chocolate bars still contain milk ingredients. Even a lot of the organic/fair-trade ones! It took me a long time just to find a decent brand that didn’t list ‘milk solids’ or ‘milk ingredients’ on the label, which took me by complete surprise. Obviously, I eventually managed to locate some decent brands I could try, but honestly: how pervasive is dairy when it is still contained in chocolate bars with a 70 or 85% cocoa content? Curse you, dairy!
My first new dark chocolate bar lasted me longer than a week, which by my chocoholic standards is a lifetime! I only ate one square of the bar every once in a while, and I still found myself unsatisfied and put off by the bitter aftertaste and general ‘chalky’ texture (when I compared it to milk chocolate). Gradually, though (to my waistline’s misfortune), I really began to savour and enjoy dark chocolate. I found other brands I could try and discovered that I could easily down an entire bar of dark chocolate if given the opportunity. And it’s only been a month without dairy.
But everything in moderation, remember?
Sensing that I was careening once again down the slippery slope to all-out chocolate eating, all the time!, I decided to take a break for a bit. Again. Why must my body love chocolate so much?
In case you are curious: my new favourite bars (which I am giving up for a bit– le sigh) are Cocoa Camino’s ‘Coconut’ bar and Denman Island’s ‘Smooth Mint’ bar. Both of them: DELICIOUS!!! And now that I have seen the Denman Island Chocolate Factory on their website and know that they offer tours, I really must go. Seriously: have a look at this place! Any chocolate factory that looks like a ritzy cedar shake cabin is a MUST SEE!