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Tuesday, January 24, 2023


by Judy Ann Davis

It’s January 2023, and everyone is setting goals or making resolutions for the new year. 

I have decided to make just one: to try to eat less sweets. I discovered—well, not just recently discovered—I’m addicted to sweets and especially chocolate. I love all kinds of chocolate: milk, dark, white, semi-sweet, bitter sweet. And I’m not fussy whether they are in eatable or drinkable forms. I like candy, cakes, cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, hot chocolate and chocolate syrups. 

Chocolate come from cacao trees. These trees are relatively short, only growing to be about 15-25 feet tall. It takes about 5 years for a cacao tree to grow mature and start producing cacao pods. The beans grow in football-shaped pods on the trunk of the tree and from larger branches.

Chocolate has been part of American society for about 252 years. In America, chocolate was consumed primarily as a beverage until the 1830s or 40s. Chocolate cakes, as we think of them today, did not exist.

Imagine my surprise when I found out January 27th is National Chocolate Cake Day in the United States, a nonofficial holiday to commemorate this delicious treat. 

A popular Philadelphia cookbook author, Eliza Leslie, published the earliest chocolate cake recipe in 1847 in The Lady’s Receipt Book. The first boxed cake mix was created by a company called O. Duff and Sons in the late 1920s. Betty Crocker released their first dry cake mixes in 1947.

Since then, cake has its own category and is featured in recipes around the world. Who hasn’t heard of German chocolate or Black Forest cake? Chocolate fudge or molten lava cake? Texas sheet cake or chocolate truffle cake? There are even cakelike brownie recipes. 

Cocoa contains both healthy and unhealthy forms of dietary fat, and contains minerals important for human health, including potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc and magnesium. Some studies have found that regular chocolate consumption is associated with lower blood pressure, decreased stress levels, and increased alertness.   

And thus, because chocolate can be healthy was exactly why I modified my resolution not to give up all sweets, just to eat less of them. Hey, who am I kidding? A red box of deluxe chocolates sitting on my counter (a Christmas present from my son) is calling out to me this very moment. Maybe just a small piece wouldn’t hurt, would it?

Happy New Year! 

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  1. While I have--finally--aged out of my over-the-top love for chocolate, I still admit to an unhealthy love for Texas sheet cake. I never, ever make it because even if I share it, I eat too much of it. I enjoyed your post!

  2. Absolutely, one piece will not hurt. I wonder... If I make a Texas Sheet cake and don't cut it- is that still one piece? Asking for a friend.

    1. Lol--I love your way of thinking!!!


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