Sunday, October 31, 2010

Confessions Of A Chocoholic

God bless the Aztecs who discovered Cacao. Surprisingly, they didn’t want to eat it. They knew how to grind up the beans, boil them to a froth with water and sweeten the drink with vanilla and honey. So why didn’t the Aztecs drink this yummy stuff? Because Cacao beans were too precious and for an Aztec drinking a cup of chocolate was a sheer waste of money. Of course rich people liked to show off by drinking chocolate, they could afford it after all! At least now we have documented proof that mankind has been showing off since 1300 A.D. And thank god that you can now buy a tall glass of foamy chocolate drink at Theobroma (which is chilled melted chocolate btw), scrape the chocolate off from the bottom with your tongue sticking out and nobody will accuse you of being rich, although they might think you forgot to grow up.

I don’t have a sweet tooth, I have sweet teeth, all 32 of them. I have to end my meals on a sweet note. I like my mishtees, mousse, tarts, tiramisu and marzipans but I what I can’t absolutely live without is chocolates. In fact I’ve had a lifelong affair with them and why not, they have been my best friends through thick and thin, through my highs and lows.

Picture this scenario....You’ve had a crappy day, you have tired everybody out with your cribathon, you are stressed and feeling low. All you have to do is open the refrigerator, take out that box of pralines. Your brows are knit in concentration trying to decide between Irish cream and blueberry, you pick up one up, it feels slightly moist, ready to melt any minute. You quickly pop into your mouth, close your eyes and let the familiar chocolatey aroma envelop you with its warmth. Each taste bud of yours comes to life wanting to soak in its silky smoothness, its bitter sweet taste. You smile a lazy smile, your day just got better.

I grew up on Cadbury’s and it tasted far better back then - now it’s waxy, tastes less chocolatey and looks as if it’s on a perpetual diet (it keeps shrinking every few months). During my kiddie days, my favourite used to be Double Decker. It was this thick bar with layers of crispy cereals and nougatine wrapped in chocolate. One bite into the caramel nougat layer and I would be transported to the world of enchanted woods, elves and magical castles, my mind conjuring up childish fantasies. A book with my favourite bar of chocolate used to be my idea of Utopia.

In the 80’s, when liberalization was still a dream, all we had access to was Russian chocolates and they were awful. Travelling to foreign locales was still considered a luxury and each box of Swiss pralines was treated with awe and respect. The truffles looked like jewels, each with a mysterious filling, beckoning mischievously from their plastic thrones. I can still vividly recall my first bar of Hazelnut chocolate, that someone had got from a trip abroad. The nuts seemed so huge, crisped to perfection and smothered with chocolate so creamy, one bite of it and the world seemed to move in slow-motion.

With age, my taste has become sophisticated (read pricey), I now prefer Lindt to Cadbury and like it bitter. Double Decker doesn’t sell in India anymore and its poor cousin 5 star makes me queasy. Yet I remain a slave to my cocoa cravings. On our last trip to Belgium, the husband and I went berserk at the sight of so many chocolate boutiques. And the extreme distress we experienced while making our selections from the mind boggling variety of pralines. The shop assistants just gave up on us. The Belgians love their chocolate so much that they don’t stop at pralines - chocolate massage cream, chocolate lipstick, x rated body parts, you name it they have it. Imagination and decadence it seems, know no bounds. Ironically Godiva, Belgium’s most famous export is not exactly sought after by the locals (I find it too cloyingly sweet for my taste).

The other night while watching the new Cadbury’s silk ad on TV, I couldn’t help but smile at the image of a grown up man licking the melted chocolate off the wrapper, oblivious to the world around him. But that’s what this cocoa concoction does to most of us, doesn’t it? It takes us a step closer to the child in us, to a long lost childhood when the world seemed so perfect and dreams that never seemed impossible.
Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. It took you so long to get sophisticated tastes!!!! Dark chocolates are better...everyone knows that.
    I guess Mars Bars and Snickers can be a substitute for Double Decker.
    But it seems you are a bit inclined towards the sweeter section of the food pyramid. And you wonder why the exercise routine is not showing results?
    Overall nice post....except for the two times you mentioned licking and scrapping for the last drop.

    Now a challenge for you. Guess who?? :P

  2. Recently I read in newspaper that dark chocolates are good for heart.So enjoy dark ones!

  3. Prats..One of these days I'm gonna drown you in Vat of bubbling chocolate and see you die a slow death!!!

    You sound almost as mean as my brother. And I hate Mars and Snickers!!

    S R Ayyangar... They are if you can ignore the cocoa butter and the sugar.

  4. Ummmm my weakness too.Any type any brand...As they say i'd rather fall in choclate than in love..Interesting nd informative..

  5. Wow you really are a chocoholic to the core. I don't wish to be guillotined for saying this but I never had that kind of an attachment with sweets or confectioneries. (no doubt people think I'm weird :P) But once in a while I do prefer a Cadbury Bournville or some Chocolate Mousse.
    It turns out that I don't even know half the things about chocolate you mentioned in this post.

  6. caught me. I will give you that. But.....was that a death threat? I think I will go underground for some time. I have the forces backing me :P

  7. my elder sis is @ll tht u just described urself 2 b :-) she went m@d @t Ghirardelli square :-)

  8. Fortunately, I get to eat Belgian chocolates very often here :). Especially dark chocolates.... i love them..

    But I prefer to avoid chocolate massage..:0)

  9. I am a guy with all sweet teeth, but inclined more towards milky stuff. rasgulla, rasmalai.. pedha.. in a local bakery in coimbathore they t used to make rumball.. they claim that it is chocolate with rum.. extreme sweetness..

  10. yummylicious .......

    the 3rd para was especially sensual....mmmmmmm

  11. Those ancient aztecs also added pepper to their concoction and made it a spicy hot drink!

    Cadbury's dairy milk( The BIG bar costing 95 something) tastest a whole lot better than the smaller ones.

    And they're getting VERY expensive.

    Dairy Milk is also responsible for me gaining 10 kilos when I was in class 10. Haha.

    Love this post! :)

  12. I just gobbled up two small cadburies after reading this post...yup so what was i saying?....I am not a huge fan of chocolates but when i feel like i can clean up a huge box of cadbury or family has a big sweet tooth, so i think maybe somewhere down the line i need to behave this way..its in the genes :-p....
    and silk aint as good as it looks on tv...

  13. Thanks for making me feel normal. And also that I'm not alone into this 'thing' about choco.

  14. mmmmm.... You missed the occasional chocolate cravings women have.

    I love dark chocolate truffles. They just melt in your mouth, with awesomeness! I think the ones which have more of the cocoa flavor and less sugar are definitely the best!

  15. am I the only one in this world who doesn't enjoy chocs?

  16. heartbreak involved there.

    Samadrita...You are blessed not weird. Ahh there's more info I could have included...that having chocolates releases Endorphins!

    Prateek...The forces can join you in that Vat.

  17. Vicious...Is that? Mad with ecstasy should be more like it!

    Bhawna...But a chocolate massage sounds so decadent!

    Harish...I've had rum balls, very few confectioners get it right :(

  18. magiceye...You can try this at home :D


    Ujjwal...I bought the Silk version, was verrrry disappointed. The boards stress does that you. You are now in XIIth right?

  19. Shahid...LOL...I apologize :D
    I I discovered!!!!!!!!

    Apoyando...There's nothing abnormal in being a chocoholic :))

    Priyanka...Women get too many cravings and it gets worse with age. Exactly too much sugar kills the taste!


  20. my association with Cadbury's goes a long way, launch of Appella(soft drink)to going to their R&D wing and tasting their various concoctions.Today, my disciples get me so many chocolates that I melt with them.I love chocolates and my fav is Lindt and some of the Hersheys.But hand made chocolates have more taste to them if they are made as per your taste buds.BTW, never store chocolates in a fridge and drop the ones which have a faint white color on them.Thanks for the article.

  21. That post made me drool but I am controlling myself from rushing to buy some. Love truffles especially the liqueur filled ones. Strangely though I don't like any chocolate flavoured ones, including ice creams. Still drooling...

  22. Krsna... But Swiss chocolates melt so easily, in summers I have no choice but to refrigerate them. Now that winters are here, I can keep them outside.
    And I remember Appella..was launched way back in the 80's...right??

    zephyr... The warm liqueur that comes rushing out, mmmm. Go indulge yourself girl!!! don't hold back.

  23. I can go mushy on a roll of Poppins even today-staple goodies to the poor kids like us! Loved the tribute to Double Decker etc., and the description of the lovable as well as unnameable Belgian stuff. I wonder whether I tend to appreciate the bitter now that I'm in the middle of a mid-life crises.

    Great work.

  24. Dear me, you have penned down everything I feel about chocolate :) I can't have enough of it. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I can have chocolate anytime! And yes, Lindt is absolutely amazing!

    Now, I have to go and eat some chocolate!

  25. umashankar...Really??? HA
    My reaction at those chocolate boutiques in Brussels was a curious mixture of embarrassment and curiosity :))

    Smitha...Did you know there's a lot you can tell about a person from the way he has his chocolate and how he crumples the wrapper??

  26. I love chocolates. Any day, any time I am fine with them.

  27. Don't do this to me....pepepelease!
    Am at that stage of my life when I can only dream of elves and fairies eating chocolate, and feel compelled to think of only them and edit the chocolate as I dream!

  28. Yes Purba, Appella was launched in that decade. When you have to eat a chocolate just keep in fridge for few minutes and harden it for just the right time and eat but keeping in fridge deteriorates the chocolates. Keep in cool dry place, maybe your cupboard or some such place and never in fridge.The swiss chocolates are different than ours because we have a sweeter tooth than the Europeans and Americans.But nowadays we develop taste for some other exquisite stuff also. Take the case of olive oil..we weer used to groundnut to sunflower to this. Tastes changes vigorously for our palates.

  29. Rajesh...A high five to that!

    Witty as ever Nalini :) It will break my heart to edit out the chocolate!

    krsna...Will keep that in mind and agree with you when you say our tastes are evolving. I use a lot of olive oil in my cooking.

  30. Count Chocula I enjoyed your chocoholic memoirs!!

  31. Cocoa was used as currency in olden days and they didn't sweeten the drink until late. And I don't find any chocolate when I open my refrigerator because if I buy 5 bars, I cannot sleep until I finish them. :P

  32. Wow,...a whole new blog on chocolate,...try Lindt...they are the best!

  33. Varsha...The countess is glad :)

    Nethra...All five of them? That's quite a feat!

    Rohit....Quoting from my own blog
    "With age, my taste has become sophisticated (read pricey), I now prefer Lindt to Cadbury and like it bitter"

  34. again beautiful narration...but this time i wont be putting it on editorials...u know these editorials..they always hav a purpose..that same old purpose...hey but ur this post is best suited for our sunday news paper..u know all that stuff which a person wud like to read when he is all free...well anyways i wud like to thank for all ur suggestion :)i hope they will be helpful :)

  35. Am glad you have taken my suggestions in your stride. Didn't mean to critique you and looking forward to reading more of you :))

  36. yummmmmmm what a chocolaty post. I love to eat dark chocolate.
    and have 32+18 teeth :) my fairy is reason to gulp daily a piece.

  37. Loved the write up..And all I can think of is chocolates and about getting a job in Belgium..Three Chocolates..oops Cheers to you!!!

  38. Coral...32+18 LMAO!!

    I love dark chocolate too :))

    Blue Lotus...You will love Brussels and the Town square is so vibrant. Just make sure you learn French before you take that job!


Psst... let me know what you are thinking.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...