Mom's chocolates (L to R): chocolate ganache, white chocolate orange ganache, chocolate peanut clusters

Eva:        Okay, so for Christmas dinner I’ll make the stuffing, bring out some cheese and appies, and we’ve got a bunch of chocolates here that people have given us, so we’ll bring those too.  We have some leftovers of Mom’s chocolates too.  Do you want me to bring those?

Andrea:       What’s wrong with you?  How can you just have chocolates sitting around and not eat them?

There it is, folks: one of the essential differences between my sister and me.  She’s all over sweets and candy.  As we’ve discussed before, I’d much rather have the savoury treats.  My brother was living with Andrea for a while.  Andrea and her husband were trying hard to eat healthy.  Just for kicks, my brother would bring home a big container of macaroon cookies and then laugh while Andrea and Brad ate them all.  They just can’t help themselves when there’s junk in the house.

I don’t know how chocolate and Christmas came to be connected.  I did try to research it, but apparently no one on the internet has yet done a dissertation on it.  There is, however, an interesting website about the history of chocolate here, in case you’re curious.

According to Taras Grescoe in The Devil’s Picnic,

Chocolate, from the start, has shown all of the hallmarks of a drug of abuse.  Like opium, cannabis, ergot, alcohol, and tobacco, its birth was swaddled in ritual.  First cultivated by the Olmecs, precursors to the Maya in Central America, at least six hundred years before Christ, the cacao tree became toe sacred plant of the Aztecs.  Like the other major drugs, it was the subject of attempted prohibitions: Charles II’s ban on coffee also singled out chocolate as another fomenter of loose political talk in Restoration England.  In 1616, a committee of Doctors of the Church condemned cacao as “the damnable agent of necromancers and sorcerers”…

I think the only thing damnable was that whole cultures were enslaved to satisfy Europeans’ newly acquired taste for chocolate, after the Aztecs were conquered by the Spanish.  And interestingly, one of the reasons chocolate was never outright banned in Spain is because Spanish monks and nuns were such ardent consumers, sometimes devoting themselves entirely to its production (in the name of the Lord, of course).

Which all goes to show that chocolate is one of those things, isn’t it?  In a statistic I’ve just made up on the spot, about 60% of women would rather have chocolate than sex.  Okay, here’s a real statistic (as real as you can get from the internet, that is): 52% of women polled in the UK prefer chocolate to sex.  Apparently because it “never disappoints”.  There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to the chocolate > sex theme.

Huh.  Why choose, when you can have the combo?

Speaking of Christmas chocolates, I’ll see if I can get Mom to cough up her recipe for you.  If I can, I’ll post it later today.