Thursday, February 21, 2008

Men & Chocolate: An Untold Obsession


I'm so tired of this trend that women love chocolate more than men or prefer chocolate to sex or can better "appreciate" chocolate. I understand that psychological associations with chocolate are influenced by a number of things, mostly advertising and cultural influences, but let's be real how can anyone possibly know how another being feels about chocolate? I'm here to stand up for men and to say "yes....it's OK to have an obsession with chocolate! Yes....I have to have some chocolate right now!" Look, I'm not trying to come off as a sexist by writing this, I just want to put things in perspective. 

I really blame early marketing strategies for the predicament we are now in. During the year 1937 Milton Hershey started shipping the Ration D bar of chocolate overseas to the troops. This chocolate served two purposes; first as a morale boost, and second as a high-energy, pocket-sized emergency ration. Back at home they launched a different campaign, that of marketing. This chocolate was sweeter than that of the Ration D bar. The advertising reflected a comfort food that was to ease the stress of having loved ones so far from home. Once the troops came home these marketing trends stayed in place. So, it came to be that chocolate was identified as a woman's food.  

Culturally speaking, I really dig how the Japanese treat their version of Valentine's Day. Giving of chocolate, as gifts of love has been long popular there since the late 1950s. What's different about this day in particular is that the women give chocolates to men. 

Research investing both the physiological and psychological basis of one having  a chocolate obsession is pretty inconclusive. I believe it's most likely a combination of both. If chocolate obsessions were entirely physiological people wouldn't eat chocolate for just those reasons. Most researchers believe chocolate's sensory qualities, chemistry, cultural values, social values and hormonal influences all play a role in chocolate cravings. It is the complete chocolate experience that people crave. Not one single chemical or quality can be solely responsible for satisfying a chocolate craving. 

So guys, don't be ashamed to hoist that truffle high and declare your love for that wonderfully dark, rich, intoxicating treat! 


7 comments:

KennyDoll77 said...

Never once was I ashamed. When I used to live on the west side, I'd take these Sunday walks. I'd walk to the grocery and buy this $3.00 Cacao bar and a bottle of water, then walk to Venice Beach on my chocolate-high. Hard to top...

Candace said...

I speak from experience, as I live with a man that loves chocolate even more than I do. You should see our luggage every time we come back from Germany. Most times we have to get an extra piece of luggage for the chocolates!

Cakespy said...

Mr. Cakespy definitely likes chocolate better than I do--he bought me chocolates for valentines day then finished the box himself!
(I know this is a bit late but I just found this cool post through Foodbuzz!)

Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor" said...

I am proud to be known as someone who LOVES great chocolate in all of its' possible forms. Even my adolescent nickname "Bosco", later in life became synonymous with "the tall guy who sold premium chocolate." Although there is a HUGE difference between the drink mix and the companies I proudly represented, the "tag" worked nicely (it paid the bills) so I've kept it. I had to add the "e" later on, but that's another story................

BaL said...

A bit late, but I, too saw this post on FoodBuzz today :)

No matter what chemicals it has inside or no matter what the advertisers or marketing tricks say, chocolate is simple 'tasty'!

Why shouldn't men love such tasty, rich beauties?

:))

I support you!

Christina said...

I completely concur. My male relations enjoy chocolate just as much, if not more, than I do. In fact, my brother's birthday cake was a triple layer devil's food cake with chocolate pastry cream filling and chocolate ganache, something along the lines of a cake he requested. =D

Scott said...

I never understood the idea that chocolate was a woman's food. In fact I always that it was B.S. When my wife and I were dating I killed a Carmello bar while driving around with her. She thought nothing of it other than it never had fighting chance. Her dad can devour chocolate like nobody's business. So could my dad. My mom bought him chocolate all of the time.
Whenever my wife says "I got you a present" know it most likely is chocolate.