If I were a drug addict, my drug of choice would be chocolate. You’d find me reclining on a chaise, covered in a dragon red tapestry, mainlining chocolate. From time to time an exotic-looking man would tidy up the little gold and silver wrappers littered around me. He’d then place decadent chocolates from Madagascar and South America within reach of my outstretched hand. In-between chocolate stupors, I’d reflect on how my life had come to this. Other than a piece of chocolate cake and the occasional chocolate chip cookie, chocolate’s appeal has been lost on me… until this year. What is it about chocolate? How did this happen?
“IT WAS THERE, AGAINST THE BLUE VELVET CUSHIONS, WE SLIPPED INTO A CHOCOLATE HAZE. IT WAS DIVINE.”
In the last year I’ve worked my way through every brand of chocolate bar at Whole Foods. If you ask me, Whole Foods are chocolate pushers! It starts innocently enough, with free sample pieces at the checkout counter. Then, when they’ve peaked your interest, whole bars are lined up next to the register.
I’ve long since put Toblerone and Godiva behind me, and the thought of a Hershey bar makes me nauseous. I’ve graduated to the hard stuff. Seventy to 85% pure cacao, unless I need a fix, in which case I’ll settle for 62% pure cacao. For those of you who don’t indulge, cacao refers to both the tree and its seeds, or nibs. Cacao is chocolate at it’s purest, before it’s cut with sugars and corn syrups.
A few weeks ago a friend and I went to Verdura Jewelry’s 75th Retrospective on Fifth Avenue. A total indulgence for those who appreciate fine jewelry and craftsmanship. Afterward we went across the street to the Food Hall at The Plaza Hotel. Little did I know I was about to encounter another indulgence, one of the holy grails of chocolate: La Maison du Chocolat. After sampling several squares from their “Initiation Box”—how apropos—we took our prize purchases, including their 100% pure cacao, upstairs to the Champagne Bar. With just the briefest hesitation, we each ordered a “Central Park,” a drink with Kahlua, Bailey’s, Grand Marnier, Hot Chocolate and whipped cream. It was there, against the blue velvet cushions, we slipped into a chocolate haze. It was divine.
In the last year, a lot of the women I profile for 1010ParkPlace tell me chocolate is their guilty pleasure. Seriously! What is it about chocolate? Some experts says chocolate cravings are linked to a woman’s monthly cycle, which suggests a hormonal basis. But I’m wondering… What if those of us with declining estrogen levels have more chocolate cravings than women with higher estrogen levels and only monthly cravings? What if chocolate picks up where hormones leave off? What if chocolate beckons to us as like a lover?
If my hypothesis is right, and men correlate a woman’s chocolate cravings with her age, I foresee the day when men will ask an additional get to know you question.
“What do you do for a living?” “Do you ski?” “Do you like chocolate?”
“Wrong answer, lady! That’s as far as this relationship is going.”