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The Dark Chocolate Conundrum
What's my percentage? Does this make me a good person?
The most anxiety-inducing activity in any grocery store is buying dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is a snack, which already makes it an indulgence, but it has a luxurious connotation. Oh, and somehow has tangled itself in a web of very public moral & ethical dilemmas.
I mostly just stand there and gape at the shelves while a bunch of questions rattle around in my head.
What percentage of dark chocolate is my percentage of dark chocolate?
There isn’t a best percentage, because it’s a preference. What is the correct percentage of dark chocolate for me? This is like a Myers-Briggs test except that it actually tells people something about you.
Some of these bars don’t even have percentages, they just say “dark chocolate.” Feels like a gamble. Feels risky. I can’t decide if that’s attractive or off-putting.
What percentage is milk chocolate? I want more than that percentage, but also less than 95% because I tried that once and it was like eating a chunk of interstate asphalt.
Is this a health food? People say it’s a health food.
They say dark chocolate is full of antioxidants but I do not know what those are, what they do, or why the ones in dark chocolate are better than the ones in Heinz ketchup.
Should I go with a brand I’ve heard of, or just something with a flashy wrapper?
This feels a bit like buying red wine. A cool label means I’ll probably enjoy it, because I am a shallow person who doesn’t know anything about the actual stuff inside. And both wine and dark chocolate have tannins, which are… good?
A few of these are just wrapped in cardboard. I think that’s supposed to signal “eco-friendly” but I’m getting more of a “tastes like cardboard” vibe.
There’s always Lindt, which I recognize from those truffle things around Valentine’s day. They seem like the Audi of chocolate.
If most of the words are French does that make it better?
Shit, some of these are chocolat noir.
Should I make a political statement with my choice of dark chocolate?
It would appear that this decision has meaning beyond “a snack for watching Mank.”
Maybe I’ll ensure farmers in underprivileged countries get a fair wage. Perhaps I’ll support endangered species and their habitats; I can also specifically stop deforestation, which sounds like the same thing but must be different.
I could also avoid soy lecithin, which I assume is poison.
Is the ice cream aisle less intimidating?
The answer used to be “yes” but is now a “hard no.” The ice cream aisle is actually worse because there are non-dairy alternatives, more flavors, and it’s still a political minefield.
Why am I doing this to myself?
I think I’ll just grab some peanut M&Ms and call it a night. If I don’t read the ingredients, the soy lecithin can’t hurt me.