I am a chocolate fiend. I need to eat chocolate pretty much every day, or else I get cranky. (Sometimes I get cranky even when I am getting chocolate regularly, though, so who knows.)

Naturally, I have strong opinions about chocolate. (Of course, I have strong opinions about almost everything. There are some things I have no opinion at all about, but on the whole, if I have an opinion about something, it's a strong opinion.)

Dark vs. Milk

I have observed that there are 2 main schools of thought about chocolate among the people who love to eat it. One favors dark chocolate, the other milk.

The dark chocolate lovers like their chocolate as unadulterated as possible. Their favorite types of dessert have names like "Death by Chocolate" and "Chocolate Overdose" and are things like a heavy, dense chocolate cake, laced with fudge and chocolate chips, with chocolate sauce poured over chocolate frosting, with a chocolate-covered coffee bean on top.

I, however, am a milk chocolate man. I don't like dark chocolate, and desserts like Death by Chocolate are just way too singular and overpowering to me. In my opinion, the best chocolate desserts are those in which chocolate is combined with something light, such as vanilla ice cream, buttery cookie dough, whipped cream, meringue, pastry, and so on. I'd rather have a hot fudge sundae or some chocolate chip cookies than a death by chocolate sort of dessert any day of the year. I like my chocolate integrated!

In addition to observing these differing schools of thought, I have also observed a certain prejudice against the milk chocolate faction. There are those who consider dark chocolate the proper choice among gourmets and connoisseurs, consigning milk chocolate to something enjoyed only by uncultured masses and unsophisticated palates. Naturally, I vigorously reject this notion. I find it particularly troublesome when someone learns I'm a chocolate fanatic and assumes therefore that I must be a dark chocolate fan.

Non-Chocolate Desserts

As long as I'm on the subject of dessert, I have some other strong opinions I want to express.

As far as I'm concerned, if it ain't chocolate, it ain't dessert. I realize there are many people who enjoy things such as apple pie, cherry pie, fruit cobbler, carrot cake, strawberry shortcake, and so on, but I am not one of them. I don't like any of those things, and it is with great disappointment that I reach the dessert phase of a meal, only to be presented with something along those lines instead of a real dessert. Like I said, if it doesn't have chocolate in it, it isn't fit to be called a dessert. This then begs the question of what these things are. If apple pie isn't dessert, then what is it? Well, it's got fruit in it, right? Then, to my way of thinking, it must be a salad. So, serve the apple pie during the salad phase of the meal, then bring me some chocolate cream pie for dessert.

My Personal Favorite Chocolate Thing

Of all the forms of chocolate, my very favorite is chocolate angel food cake. It is my traditional birthday cake, and as far as I know I've had some for my birthday every time I've had a birthday. See? Here I am enjoying one on my very first birthday.

The cake is light and airy, and the chocolate doesn't overpower the other flavors. Of course, dark chocolate lovers won't think much of this cake. It's just not heavy and intense enough for them. To which I say, go eat some devil's food cake, and leave the chocolate angel food cake for me.

My Favorite Candy Bar

Although it isn't bar-shaped, my favorite candy bar is the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. However, there's a major caveat here: They MUST be fresh. Those of you who eat a lot of PBCs know what I mean: Sometimes you bite into one, and the peanut butter is smooth and moist and delicious... but other times, it's dried out, crumbly, and nasty. So, when the PBC is fresh and the peanut butter is moist and delicious, it's my favorite candy... but if it's dried out and nasty, I won't even eat it.

UPDATE: I wrote this page 5 years ago, and I while I still love a good Reese's, I've chosen a new all-around favorite: The Wonka Bar.

Other Favorites

Fannie May Pixies, Mars bar (as sold in America, which contain white nougat and almonds, not to be confused with the Mars bar sold in England, which is called a Milky Way bar here in the states), Four Minute Fudge (which I learned to make as a kid), Ruby Tuesday's Tall Cake, The Emperor's Rock-Like Chocolate Chip Cookies (which I also learned to make as a kid, and which are somewhat unpopular due to thier odd appearance), chocolate yule log (Diane Donaldson used to make me one every Xmas), milk chocolate buttercreams, Cadbury Creme Eggs, Calico Meringues and Chadwick's chocolate milk shakes.

Copyright © 1996 by Andrew Looney.

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