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Archive for May 20th, 2010

It is NOT Chocolate

When I was 11, my mother decided to bring my world crashing down around my ears and declared I had an allergy to chocolate. Since I was plagued by a variety of food allergies I didn’t question the decision. I wasn’t able to in my traumatized state.

The problem was that I was genetically programmed to crave chocolate. Several members of my dad’s side of the family have the same affliction. We crave chocolate. We love chocolate. We are chocolate addicts. We need chocolate. Chocolate is a key ingredient in our happy existence. This goes beyond the normal really liking chocolate. I mean we honest-to-goodness need chocolate.

So with much crying and whining, I spent the next 12 years without chocolate. Trying to make it up to me, my mother attempted multiple times to convince me that carob was just as good, if not even better than chocolate. She was so wrong.

A great definition I found of carob is this:

“Carob is a tropical pod that contains a sweet, edible pulp and inedible seeds. After drying, the pulp is roasted and ground into a powder that resembles cocoa powder, but does not have the same flavor and texture of chocolate.”

Okay, so you read that part about it not having the same flavor or texture of chocolate. That is putting it mildly! Carob, in my opinion, has a similar flavor and texture to that of cardboard being finely shredded  and then dusted with a generic brand of cocoa powder.  It is NOT a substitute for chocolate.

My mother got creative with her attempts at helping me find peace with carob. There were carob-chip cookies (blech!), carob-covered peanuts (double blech!), and carob cake (I won’t even try to describe that one). She finally gave up. I was forever grateful and accepted my chocolate-less existence.

Then I met and married Most Wonderful Hubby. One day he casually asked why I was allergic to chocolate. I didn’t know. My mother said it was so, and so it was. He gave me half of his chocolate candy bar and I ate it. Then we both waited for me to break out in hives, collapse in a heap and in general do something that required a trip to the emergency room. When nothing happened, I think I heard a chorus singing hallelujah.

Suddenly the world was a happy place again, one filled with chocolate. Do you know how many new kinds of chocolate things are developed in a 12-year period? A lot! And I’m pretty sure I tasted every single one of them. I’m still on a quest to make sure no chocolate is left untasted. After all, I’ve got the rest of my life to make up for those 12 lost years.

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