Throughout April, with Easter soon to be upon us, we have chosen chocolate as our theme. As the month progresses, we will be uploading contributions from a number of commenters, exploring different aspects of one of our most loved foods. We will be looking at how chocolate makes us feel, the importance of it in our culture, its history, the surprising science behind it, our relationship with it, and some favourite recipes. We will also be posting links to chocolate related items elsewhere in the media, and generally celebrating all things cocoa related in the month when many of us will consume more than enough of the stuff.
- 2nd April 2017 – Eating a Twix – Our first contribution is from friend of the Nourishment Network, Eve Simmons. Eve is a journalist, writer and co-creator of the Not Plant Based website. In this quite remarkable piece, she talks about her relationship with chocolate during her time as a patient at an eating disorder clinic. If you ever have the slightest doubt about the importance of pleasure when it comes to our food choices, you need to read this to the end. In fact, everyone needs to read this to the end.
- 3rd April 2017 – Topped with Gold Tagliatelle – Here, former Roux brothers pastry chef Dominique Ashford talks about her relationship with chocolate, and how professionally she has taken that to another level. She also shares one of her remarkable recipes, revealing some of the staggering complexity involved when working with chocolate at the highest level. I have been lucky enough to try this dish, and it is quite extraordinary. Any readers who can provide proof that they have made it in full (apart from Dominique, obviously), will receive a special Nourishment Network monthly award. Let’s face it, any dessert that ends with the line ‘top with your gold tagliatelle’, has got to be worth a go. Dominique runs Dale House Barn and can be contacted through her website.
- 5th April 2017 – How to eat chocolate this Easter without feeling guilty – chocolate is much maligned as ‘junk’ food but it this piece Judy Swift celebrates the importance of chocolate this Easter, and discusses how we might eat it for maximum pleasure. Enjoy!
- 7th April – It’s Easter, let’s all eat chocolate bigger than our heads – Anthony Warner in The Pool, talking about the health claims made for chocolate, and why we should probably focus more on the joy of it.
- 8th April – Never Gonna Give You Up – Here, Registered Nutritionist Laura Thomas PhD talks about giving up chocolate for lent. Harmless fund raising opportunity, or a first step on a path to dangerous dietary restriction?
- 12th April – Chocolate and Cardiovascular Health. Kill or Cure? – Judy Swift interview Dr Duane Mellor on the evidence behind claims that chocolate helps reduce cardiovascular risk. Is it really too good to be true…?
- 13th April – Chocolate – A brief history… This quite superb piece is exclusive to The Nourishment Network from the food historian and broadcaster Annie Gray. On the history of chocolate, and the origins of the many associations that remain to this day. Enjoy without guilt.
- 14th April – The Healthiest Choice this Easter – From Anthony Warner in Net Doctor, on why the healthiest choice this Easter might just be a bit of indulgence without guilt.
- 15th April – Stop Pretending Your Chocolate Cake is a Salad – Here, Chartered Psychologist, Bake-Off finalist and TV presenter Kimberley Wilson explains why the difference between chocolate cake and salad is very important. Brilliant and insightful, but you may need a slice of cake afterwards.