Each day, my favorite lunch-time “errand” is picking up something chocolate for my friend and colleague Denise. She works very hard (and she also works-out very hard), and chocolate is one of her small daily treats. I used to watch her march off to the vending machine to grab a bag of peanut M&Ms, but I thought she deserved higher quality choices for her afternoon pick-me-up.
My mercy missions of chocolate satisfy my desire to shop and do good for a deserving person, while giving her a much-needed mid-day morsel of satisfaction. My office, situated near Rockefeller Plaza, offers an unusually rich assortment of chocolate stores, including Jacques Torres, in the concourse of Rock Center. It is a tiny nook, with a small espresso bar, perfect for a meet-up anytime of the day. The candies and decorations are a feast for the eyes. The store clerks are unusually happy and helpful—what you might expect for those working in a candy store.
Beyond the obvious pleasure derived from a daily dose of chocolate, I remind you gentle readers of the purported health benefits of one of America’s favorite treats:
• Dark chocolate in particular is high in anti-oxidants, counter-acting “free radicals” in the body.
• It is shown to lower blood pressure and reduce LDL cholesterol.
• Chocolate acts as a natural anti-depressant
• Cacao is shown to sweep plaque from artery walls.
• Dark chocolate is good for your brain—it’s actually shown to improve your memory.
• Some even argue that chocolate contributes to a longer life span.
While I suspect these medical claims will be under debate for some time to come, this I know for sure: buying chocolate at lunchtime for my friend puts a spring in my step, and also in hers. Eat more Chocolate!
p.s. Thanks to my “barista” Audra who made my shopping experience great!