And for many it’s what today is all about… Chocs away on Easter Sunday.
And thoughts away of dem sweet places where I’ve savoured the treat of the Gods.
We have the Central and South Americans to thank for extracting the cacao which makes our chocolate.
And when we want to know more on anything our go-to people are the Smithsonians in Washington DC.
And Hayes Lavis, cultural arts curator for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has the skinny on chocs.
He tells us that ancient Olmec pots and vessels from around 1500 B.C. were discovered with traces of theobromine.
And for those who know their chocs they’ll recognise that as a stimulant compound found in chocolate and tea.
So now we’ve done the science let’s sample the choccie tastes of the world.
And the way to a man’s heart is the love of a daughterie.
So when you come across a chocolate called Laura in the West Indies then you get that special rush.
This Tobago taste of heaven is a French-Caribbean collaboration and named for the manufacturer’s matriarch Laura.
Sold in high-end shops like Harrod’s it’s still best sampled where it’s made, Tobago Cocoa Estate.
We all know about Swiss sweets… Toblerone and it’s mountain triangular shapes.
And Lindt which is everywhere of which I was reminded from the minute you arrive in Geneva.
You’d have to tell me if SWISS airline still gives out comp choc to it’s passengers…
I like mine, my Lindt, though like the Asians who love to take selfies at the top of Europe.
To show off to family back home, at the top of the Jungfraujoch.
Was I the only one who wondered why a restless Colin Farrell didn’t cure his boredom through chocolate and beer?
Mind you, it would have been a very different movie.
Yes, go up to the cathedral and also check out St Anthony’s tongue.
But the best taste of all in Bruges is their oh-so-tasty chocolate.
Cadbury’s and Brum
Now you might not immediately link Bruges in Belgium and Birmingham in England.
But they’re both canal cities, major historical trade hubs.
And they are both hooked on chocolate.
It is no exaggeration to say that Brummie Joseph Cadbury was a chocolate evangelist.
As a Quaker and teetotaller he saw chocolate as a healthy alternative.
Joseph was a general good egg all round (or Cadbury’s Creme Egg) if you will
He set up a village in Bourneville for his workers and provided for all their social, health, education and sporting needs.
And a great pacifist, he even took on Queen Victoria over the Boer War.
All of which you can discover in the excellent Cadbury’s museum.
And finally, a Big Chocolate Apple
I’ve always been a great advocate of only having friends in cool places or jobs, or preferably both.
And in return they get the pleasure of hosting me.
Kate is one such, a New Yoiker and food and drinks editor who took La Famiglia Murty around Manhattan.
Chinatown, her own office kitchen on Production Day, and Jacques Torres Chocolate factory.
Now Willie Wonka’s got nothing in Kate or Jacques.
I mean bacon-flavoured chocolate… you read it here first.
Enjoy! Chocs away on Easter.