If there’s one thing that really steams my potatoes, it’s so-called “health experts” who warn me against eating chocolate. Next to my Jumpy Java coffee, chocolate is one of my essential food groups, the others being frozen yogurt; hamburgers grilled medium rare and slathered with onions; spinach calzones; and fresh, lightly sauteed broccoli. After all, I believe in a balanced diet.
At the risk of betraying my sex, I’d like to put a big heart-shaped kibosh on the vast Valentine’s Day industrial complex. I like romance as much as the next gal, but in my sometimes humbling experience, Valentine’s Day is more likely to sink a love boat than float it.
The good news about chocolate just keeps melting in. This week, the august European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) gave the nod to Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest chocolate manufacturer, allowing them to claim that cocoa flavanols are good for blood circulation. I wish I could fly to Zurich, the headquarters of Barry Callebaut, to offer my personal congratulations, and to ask for as many samples as they are willing to hand out to a weary traveler. And as long as I was there, I’d also conduct a personal investigation to try to figure out what it is about the Swiss that makes them the world’s whizzes in a trio of seemingly disconnected enterprises: precision watches, secret bank accounts, and divine chocolate. Perhaps the secret link is hidden away in a dossier in a Swiss bank vault, surrounded by priceless specimens of chocolate.