"Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso." (Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick.) - Spanish Proverb
When you hear the word "ritual," it can sound scary, intimidating, intense. "Ritual" evokes thoughts of strange people in faraway countries wearing loin cloths and fasting for weeks at a time. But what if someone told you a ritual could be as simple as a bite of chocolate? A delicious piece of chocolate can uplift, inspire, and even cure what ails you...
Dark chocolate has tremendous health benefits such as being a leading source of antioxidants and magnesium. But no health benefit is as powerful as taking TIME to truly enjoy life. A wise person said, "Being rich is a measurement of how much money you have. Being wealthy is a measurement of how much TIME you have." You might be scrapping to get by financially; but at any second you can "strike oil" and become a wealthy soul by carving out a moment of joy, beauty, and appreciation. There's no better way than a bite of chocolate to put your stake in the ground and honor a precious moment in an otherwise crazy day.
A bite of chocolate is an extra-ordinary sensory experience. It can override almost anything. Yes chocolate is stronger than your Blackberry, stronger than your to-do list, stronger than even your favorite TV show. If you're not a chocolate lover, consider chocolate as representative of any passion in life that has the ability to capture your attention. Maybe it's wine, maybe it's music; whatever it is, a strong sensory experience is your magic potion, your favorite guitar, your special key that unlocks the door to freedom, creativity, and peace. As Oscar Wilde said, "Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul."
Here are some suggestions by Katrina Markoff, founder of Vosges Haut-Chocolat, on how to truly enjoy a chocolate bar:
- See -- Notice the glossy shine of the chocolate bar, demonstrating good temper -- a tight bond between the cocoa butter and the cocoa mass.
- Smell -- Rub your thumb on the chocolate to help release the fragrance. Inhale deeply.
- Hear -- Break the bar in two pieces. Hear a crisp, ringing snap, again indicating a well-tempered bar of chocolate.
- Taste -- Place a few small pieces of chocolate on your tongue and press them to the roof of your mouth. Within 30 seconds, the chocolate square will melt, releasing the taste.