This is such an obvious, universal piece of advice that you might think it is overkill to post it on the refrigerator. You would be wrong. There is no such thing as overkill when it comes to chocolate.
My earliest memories of chocolate are of my grandfather. Grandpop Shirey kept a cigar box of broken pieces of Hershey Special Dark, from the extra thick bars, atop the refrigerator in my grandparent’s kitchen. It was a super special treat if grandpop ever shared even a small piece of that chocolate with one of his grandchildren.
On Easter, I secretly hated it when our baskets had a hollow bunny instead of the solid chocolate bunny for which I yearned. I remember one of those solid bunnies lasting me months as I gnawed a few bites each day and then returned it to the freezer.
As a young parent I stashed bags of miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in my desk drawers. I’ll never forget my great joy when I moved the desk to find a full bag that had fallen and wedged itself against the wall. What a delightful find!
On Halloween nights when my kids were young, I separated their candy, creating my own stash of chocolate goodies. I was especially fond of their Snickers bars!
Over the years, sometimes the joys of youth become bad behavior. But the good news is that science now actually supports the ingestion of dark chocolate.
As my palate continues to mature, I find that extra dark chocolates are my favorite. A small bite after dinner is just perfect!
And, it turns out that my early introduction to dark chocolate and my return to it, is actually good for my health. This is not a foolish and idle statement.
Just what are the health benefits of dark chocolate with high cocoa content?
According to published studies, chocolate contains high amounts of fiber, iron and other minerals; it is loaded with antioxidants; can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure; lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol; improves insulin sensitivity; improves blood flow to the skin and protects against sun damage; and may improve brain function.
And here is a little tidbit of information to help you enjoy your chocolate even more. Do not refrigerate it. If you store it at room temperature, the chocolate retains better flavor. Kept in the fridge, it become dull and loses its flavors. One chocolate expert I consulted online said that during a heat wave, if you put it in the fridge, keep it in a sealed container and then return it to room temperature before eating.
Savor that piece of chocolate. Savor small joys.