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Mon, Oct. 21

Bluhm: Sadly, chocolate has been getting a bad rap lately

Judy Bluhm, Courier Columnist

Judy Bluhm, Courier Columnist

I ate chocolate. No guilt. It was Valentine’s Day and a small box of truffles landed in my lap. What was I to do? Well I suppose I didn’t have to eat all six of them, but I did space out my treats over several days. My husband, Doug, is a true romantic!

Sadly, chocolate has been getting a bad rap lately. Unhealthy! Fattening! Too much sugar! Blah, blah. What are we supposed to enjoy on a special occasion? Kale? Chocolate is still the heavenly wonder made by the angels above that was created so that humans can experience pure joy.

Last week, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Americans bought a whopping 58 million pounds of chocolate! Plus, there were 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate purchased! Did you get one? That’s a whole lot of candy and most of it is already eaten. Love is shaped like a heart . . . . shaped candy box.

To dispel those wild stories about chocolate being unhealthy, we should look to the people of the Netherlands. Did you know that Dutch folks of all ages love to sprinkle chocolate on bread or toast for breakfast? Yes, it is true. And a brilliant idea!

Have you had your hagelslag this morning? Yikes, every single day 750,000 pieces of bread with chocolate are eaten by the Dutch! Start the day out right with white bread smothered with butter and then sprinkled with chocolate! Yum, so much better than fruit and yogurt. School kids are especially fond of this tradition, and by the way, these kids have the lowest obesity rates of children in all the industrialized countries!

I do recall loving peanut butter and jelly on toast when I was a kid. Then I became hip and tried toast and avocado, which is a favorite of millennials. But I may move to better things, like cocoa and toast. In any event, perhaps we need to re-think our diets and include more confection.

My father used to claim that chocolate is healthy because it contains Lecithin, an ingredient that lowers cholesterol. Which might explain why he ate a Hershey’s kiss every day of his adult life. Replace chocolate for cholesterol medication? Hmmm, might have to consult my physician about this. Or not. Perhaps I will just experiment. Dear Readers, I will report back to you.

The whole world seems pretty much in agreement about one thing: We love our chocolate. It is the single, greatest traditional gift to give and receive on Valentine’s Day. That tops the list, followed by roses (red), champagne and jewelry (diamonds). Since a diamond necklace might break the bank, it is no surprise that chocolate is the perfect gift.

My girlfriend says that chocolate is an evil temptation made by demons to make us fat. My neighbor says it causes cellulite. My dentist says chocolate creates cavities. My doctor says sugar is “no good.” I am not listening! And to prove it, I am making my own version of hagelslag right now. Yum, breakfast improved!

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.

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