It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, otherwise known in my mind as National Eat as Much Chocolate as You Want Day.
(The other thing that’s happening tomorrow for my local Colorado readers* is something I’ve been waiting for since I first moved here: the opening of Boulder’s first Trader Joe’s! I love the store, the products, and the corporate philosophy and am excited to have them in my ‘hood at last--and also excited that my suitcase will now be a little lighter when I return from trips to California. The Org & Relo team and I plan to meet up and tour the store, including every velvety piece of dark chocolate on the shelves, so I’ll update you on that down the road.)
When I was growing up, I didn’t like eating. Sad, but true. My food groups were Chocolate, Avocado, and Potato Chips. (I’m happy to report that I have diversified since then!) I used to sneak chocolate out of my mom’s baking drawer, not realizing that the evidence was smeared all over my face when she came home. One of my favorite activities involving chocolate is to start with a basic recipe and then make up my own from there. If you’ve ever had my brownies or chocolate bark, you know of what I speak...
These days I have an eating chocolate shelf and a baking chocolate shelf. Yes, I do organize my chocolate. When eating chocolate has been around too long (okay, okay, it doesn’t happen that often), it gets reassigned to the baking shelf but always goes in the queue in order of what was there first. Quality dark chocolate is my favorite. Lindt 85% was my grandfathers’ go-to bar and they passed their love of bitter chocolate down to me.
Like my grandfathers would attest, chocolate is a family trait on both sides, and See’s Candies is one of our big traditions. Actually, we’re a bit obsessed. Dark Bordeauxs are our number one, but I love California brittle, molasses chips, peppermint creams, and vanilla butter creams. Every year at Christmas my brothers and I used to eat a two-pound box from Aunt Janice for breakfast. We’d just open that baby up on the coffee table, eat all the darks first, and then move methodically on to the milks. When my Aunt Linda turned 75, I went to the See’s store and hand-selected 75 pieces just for her. Aunt Sheryl, my namesake, always had about 30 boxes in her pantry at any given time. (My mom keeps her See’s stash in the freezer…she prefers molasses chips.)
Chocolate is a much-loved part of my everyday life, and no day on an organizing job is complete without an afternoon infusion for my team. It’s amazing how quickly several good-quality bars can vanish when you’ve got six fast-moving organizers on a roll!
Yes, the sweet taste of chocolate is much on my mind today. In honor of National Eat as Much Chocolate as You Want Day, here are a few other interesting tidbits:
- More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of candy are sold each Valentine's Day.
- Americans eat an average of 22 pounds of candy each year, or approximately 2.8 billion pounds annually (split almost equally between chocolate and candy).
- Chocolate syrup was used to depict blood in the classic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's film, "Psycho." (Perhaps even more interesting is that Janet Leigh was my mom’s friend!)
- Based on sales, Snickers is the most popular chocolate bar in the U.S. (This baffles me.)
- Nuns were prohibited from eating chocolate at one time because it was thought to be too romantically potent.
- Chocolate manufacturers currently use 40% of the world’s almonds.
Wishing you a day and a weekend full of love, joy, all your heart desires...and plenty of chocolate.
*If you are a Boulder resident, you must check out Piece, Love & Chocolate. Their sipping chocolate is to die for.