Rushville Republican

February 7, 2013

Stuart: Time for a Choc Talk

Don Stuart
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — Seven hundred and sixty-one thousand. Can you believe that many links came back when I Googled the phrase “I hate chocolate”? 761,000?!

I couldn’t either, and upon further investigation, I found these unbelievable expressions of choco-hate:

“I hate chocolate. I don’t like the taste, the smell, or the texture. I’ll eat a Snickers bar, or some other candy bars with chocolate in them. I’ll also eat M&M’s if they have peanuts in them. I like those!”

“I hate chocolate. But I love chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and chocolate milk.”

“I hate chocolate. It’s just that when you eat some that’s really good, it’s a real bummer when there’s no more and your mouth is saying ‘Please please I need more!’”

See what I mean by unbelievable? These people DON’T hate chocolate. They crave that chocy flavor in their mouths. As most everyone does this time of year, when St. Valentine’s Day inspires people everywhere to exchange chocolate samplers the size of freight cars. Nationwide, chocolate is the second most popular gift of the holiday, just after lovingly hand-crafted scrapbooks of my columns.

For those looking for just the right chocolate (Careful! Don’t smear it on your scrapbooks!), here are some things to keep in mind:

Chocolate Science and Arts

A study published in the “Journal of Proteome Research” says that chocoholics have different bacteria in their stomachs than people who don’t crave chocolate. I’d explain more about this, but I’d have to use words like “plasma metabolic profiles,” and “urine samples” and “intestinal flora,” and I don’t want to be blamed if those things come to mind when you munch your V-Day chocolate.

I will mention that this type of research is called “nutrimetabonomics,” a sophisticated research technique that examines how science can be used to take all the fun out of eating.

Chocolate syrup was used to fake blood in the famous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” Uh-oh, now I’m daydreaming of that yummy Janet Leigh covered in chocolate. . .must drive thought from mind! Intestinal flora, intestinal flora, intestinal FLORA!!

Whew, I’m better now.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a student club called The Laboratory of Chocolate Science, which aims to “spread the appreciation of chocolate all over campus.” They screen movies with chocolate themes (“Psycho” is a big favorite), hold lectures, and host a chocolate tasting around Valentine’s Day. In accordance with MIT regulations, the club promises on its website to “not discriminate based on any characteristic, including a preference for dark, milk, or white chocolate.”

Chocolate events

At the Chocolate Lovers Festival in Fairfax, Va. (March 2-3), the most popular event is the Taste of Chocolate. Admission is free, but every taste will cost you a $1-apiece exchange medium called a “POG,” which stands for “Please!!! One Godiva!!!”

At the now-defunct Anaconda, Montana, Chocolate Festival, local storekeepers handed out free chocolates to all customers. Any merchants caught not giving away chocolates were fined by the town constable, with proceeds going to chocolaty. I mean, charity.

Chocolate products

Kit Kat candy bars are very popular in Japan. This is partly because the bar’s name brings to mind the Japanese phrase “kitto katsu,” which roughly translates to “You will surely win!” This has led to mass purchases of Kit Kats as a good luck charm for friends taking school examinations. However, another Japanese phrase similar to the candy’s name is “kitto katto.” This roughly translates to “You will surely miss the cut.” This has led to mass purchases of Kit Kats as a bad luck charm for enemies taking school examinations.

Here’s my Mother Goose-ian version of how the Peter Paul candy company was founded, back in 1919.

Peter Paul Halajian and Calvin K. Kazanjian

Joined Calvin’s brother Harry and two Jakes: Hagop- and Choulj- ian.

But then their friend George Shamlian

Realized they – none! – knew candyin’.

So they hired Harry Tatigian

Whose “Mounds” made them Richie Rich-ian!

If you’re in your sweetie’s doghouse this Valentine’s Day, you should extend a Chocopologie. It’s a creamy ganache with truffle oil, dusted with cocoa powder. Oh, and it costs $250. Which equates to $2,600 per pound. Amazingly, you can buy it with only one POG (Pot of Gold).

I presume Chocopologies are sinfully good, to overshadow the maker’s name: Knipschildt, which is Danish for “intestinal flora.”