I have a shoe box,
two shoe boxes,
full of dark chocolate wrappers.
An archive of my obsession
some would say.
There’s also a drawer full
at my office as well.
When I showed them to a colleague
she burst out laughing,
couldn’t believe it.
But this is serious.
Dark chocolate is a serious matter.
I can’t be bothered with candy
masquerading as chocolate.
I have to have the good stuff,
the single origin chocolate
from plantations in far off places—
Madagascar, Ghana, Papua New Guinea,
Brazil, and the Dominican Republic.
But before these artistic wrappers
in their various colors and designs
go into the box, the chocolate
must be consumed, and that
is a serious matter indeed.
First, selection. What kind of
chocolate am I in the mood for?
Something bright and fruity,
like the cacao from Madagascar,
or something dark and earthy
like the cacao from Indonesia.
Once the selection is made,
I prepare to document
the experience, out comes the
black hard covered notebook,
the chocolate journal.
Here I record the name of the bar,
its origin, cacao percentage, and
various other things like
appearance, texture, snap,
and tasting notes, like chocolatey,
sour, fruity, sweet, roasted, and so on.
I don’t get all weird and vigorously
sniff my chocolate like a bloodhound,
but I do slow down, savor it,
swishing the macerated chocolate
around on my tongue, my eyes
may even be closed., and my
head tilted back slightly.
But sometimes I just need some
dark chocolate, now. A fix?
Tear off wrapper.
Pop into mouth.
But new bars take more time,
more serious reflection,
and note taking. It might
take a few days or even a week
to finish a single bar,
square by square,
But if I’m really smitten,
it might only last an hour,
or less. It all depends on
the day, the bar, the mood,
the lighting, the music, the company.
Then the wrappers go into the box,
or drawer. Lest you think I’m a hoarder,
those wrappers, at least the more interesting,
more artistic ones are repurposed,
finding their way onto the covers
of my notebooks, where they remind
me of their deep, dark, deliciousness.