It just so happens today is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day. I suppose if you could find it, you should run out and get some chocolate covered crickets just to help celebrate the day. They do exist… somewhere. I have seen them. Can’t say I have eaten them, but they exist. I suppose in theory anything can be made better if it’s covered in chocolate. I mean look, there’s chocolate covered pretzels for crying out loud. I don’t like pretzels but I’ll eat them if they’re covered in chocolate.
This actually reminds me of a time when I had recently started my job in Salida. My friend/colleague Ali was covering an event going in town dealing with bugs. It was a summer camp program and it’s a good little community story for the newspaper. Well, this fun little day camp deal usually featured offering the kiddos chocolate covered crickets and other bugs. I guess the organizers really want the kids to get some protein with their calcium (in the milk chocolate).
Anyway, Ms. Ali brought back some treats for the rest of us to try. I can’t say I finally ever had any of those infamous chocolate covered crickets, but she, the publisher and I did try one of the treats. Oddly enough I can’t remember exactly what it was other than it was crunchy. Hmm. It was something larvae or something like that. Nothing I would eat under normal circumstances but for the sake of having some fun and the fact the publisher was willing to get in the act, I had to go with it. They were just crunchy. There wasn’t much flavor. Too bad.
The thing about it is even chocolate seems so much better during this time of year. I’m not sure how much of that is psychological and how much is that there’s only certain kinds of chocolate candies you can get during the holidays. It’s probably a little bit of both. I know personally, I love that peppermint bark by Ghirardelli. That stuff is grub. Just saying. It can only be bought during the holiday season. There are other chocolate companies that do certain kinds of candies that are only available during the holidays. This is a bit cruel given that most of us are already eating loads of other crap we don’t need but because it’s limited we feel a need to make the excuse to eat some of these candies anyway… or perhaps that’s just me.
I bring this all up not only because it’s National Chocolate Covered Anything Day but because, whether it should or shouldn’t, chocolate helps bring a smile to our face. Disclaimer for those of you who may be prone to thinking so (you know who you are): No I am NOT talking about the alleged aphrodisiac effect it has on people. I am referring ONLY to the fact that chocolate tastes good. Most people like it, but not all. They have other preferences and they’re probably better for it quite frankly. That said, sometimes people have certain candies they love to eat this time of year because of the memories associated with it.
Maybe grandma used to make a kind of candy only during the holiday season. It meant going over to her house and smelling the good things coming from the kitchen and playing while waiting to have a sample. Maybe it was something store bought by a family member or friend who unfortunately is no longer in your life but you have that memory. Sadly, not everyone has those really great memories. Some people have troubled childhoods for one reason or another but maybe that one shred of light is that one time a total stranger did a nice thing and bought that kid a candy bar. The list goes on from there. The point is it’s not just about the candy itself. It’s what’s associated with it.
So many folks have seemed to have gotten so caught up in the materialistic side of things, they forget to just enjoy the holidays and the joy and merriment that comes with it. I’d rather focus on the togetherness of family and friends and highlight that with some cards or small gifts than go broke buying that one perfect gift. Yes we want to do nice things for those we love but it needs to be done for the right reason. I like the idea of having a special treat be a memory. The rest of the year we get so bogged down with running around, working ourselves silly, stressing about bills, etc., that we need a time to just reflect and think back on the things that make us happy, even if it’s just a little chocolate square that quickly melts in our mouth.