CHOCOLATE

by Ed Halmagyi

Instructions

Chocolate is the world’s most popular food, and with good reason, it’s delicious.

But chocolate’s appeal is more than just its taste. Along with oysters and champagne, chocolate enjoys special regard as a culinary aphrodisiac. Although I should point out that you are not supposed to eat all three in the same mouthful.

Chocolate earned its romantic reputation soon after being introduced to Britain in the 17th century. Physicians of the day noted chocolate’s ability to ‘clarify the vapours’. In other words it cheered people up.

Actually there’s good science behind this. Chocolate contains particular fatty acids that stimulate your hypothalamus, giving you a sense of well-being and contentment, while the theobromine in cocoa increases your brain’s serotonin levels. Ah, how we love serotonin, it’s your body’s natural happy pill.

But why an aphrodisiac? Gentlemen, let me share with you one of the great secrets of the female mind. When she’s happy, things go better. Clear enough?

That said, you don’t want to go overboard. Over-indulgence in chocolate-derived serotonin will lead to the formation of melatonin. It’s an equally smile-inducing natural brain chemical, but more likely to put you to sleep than put you to work, if you know what I mean!

And to really seal the deal, buy her some Fairtrade chocolate. You see, most the world’s cocoa is produced by communities living below the poverty line. In fact, evidence exists that some cocoa production in West Africa is still harvested using slave labour. The Fairtrade logo guarantees that the ingredients used to make the goods you purchase have been bought at a fair market price and in a manner that will help to benefit the community from which it has come.

Specialist confectionery stores and quality delicatessens are the best place to look for Fairtrade chocolate.

Doing something to help make the world a better place, while getting her a chocolate treat? That will make you a knight in shining armour. How could she possibly resist?
Petit pots-au-chocolat

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