Last Updated: Mon Jul 18, 2011 00:14 am (KSA) 21:14 pm (GMT)

Noora Faraj: Chocolate: Wolf in sheep’s clothing

It comes in various colors, fillings, shapes, sizes, and wrappers, so you’d have to be missing a gene to still be able to dodge its allure.

I’m talking about chocolate. Variety: White, milk, dark. Vanilla beans, honeycomb, caramel, raisins, liquor and even rock salt. Cocoa percentages: 35, 50, 75, and even 99. Provenance: Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, and Europe.

Smell it, break it, feel it melt by the warmth of your mouth, or on your fingertips. Some boast stashes, some shell out a day’s worth of wages, and some even choose bathe in it, literally.

If chocolate had a polysyllabic Latin or Greek name instead, it would only be found on the black, or in this case, brown, market.

I’m guilty of skipping meals in favor of consuming more of my daily allowance of this processed bean.

How is chocolate any different from your average illegal drug? It’s on call when you’re sad, angry, happy, depressed, ecstatic, celebratory, and especially bored.

Once having a bad rep for causing breakouts and weight gain, scientists have played devil’s advocate and miraculously verified that this sweet treat has positive health benefits.

According to a report by a leading broadcast company, leaving a morsel of chocolate in your mouth as it slowly disintegrates boosts brain activity.

Put aside that cup of coffee, and tuck into a cocoa tablet instead. Better yet, make that a chocolate bar. You will become very, very smart.

(Noora Faraj, Senior producer of Web TV at Al Arabiya English, can be reached at: noora.faraj@mbc.net)

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