Chocolate has become an essential part of American life, through seasonal holiday marketing, baking (as an ingredient, topping, or decoration), and everyday consumption. It started out as a popular drink in the colonies, often used as a calming mechanism or to improve digestion. Solid chocolate only emerged in the mid-19th century with a chalky, unpleasant texture. It wasn’t until around 1920, once milk had been incorporated into the chocolate, that people preferred eating chocolate to drinking it.1 The supply of chocolate in the U.S. became abundant as new technologies created affordable chocolate that turned it from an expensive luxury to a mass-consumed product. Continue reading
As Halloween approaches, I am reminded of the childhood propensity to collect as much chocolate (and other candy) as possible and save the best for last, although the last always ended up in the trash. This time of year truly magnifies our country’s obsession with chocolate, evident in an excess chocolate supply that leaves too many of us victim to overconsumption and/or food waste.