Meridian Star

Columns

November 8, 2013

Rethinking chocolate

MERIDIAN — Rethinking chocolate – that’s just crazy talk! Crazy talk or so I thought until last week.  You see it was early morning and I was flipping channels – TODAY Show, Good Morning America, etc, etc. It seemed all the same until I came to a cooking segment. Right there on the TV stood a rather stout, elderly gentleman, with a big grin on his face and wearing a chef’s apron. For some unknown reason I paused there and it was as if the most exciting secret of the world was about to be revealed.

    Yes, the stout chef was obviously pleased to make an announcement of great importance pertaining to the protein world. He and three of the morning TV hosts, two young women and a man, stood reverently behind a display of three lovely platters of food.  You know the culinary cardinal rules: presentation, presentation, presentation -- I must say, it was all there. I mean I was mesmerized by the richness of the colors: pink, yellow, brown, green – the elegant garnishments, drizzles of tasty potions in just the right places, not to mention the enticing crumbles of something (?) that were right on point and the intricate layering’s of delectable this-and-that’s, which were sure to please even the most discriminating taste buds. Yes, I was enthralled.

    As I gazed lovingly upon the scene of the buffet beauty, I couldn’t help but notice the, the, the – well, the downright fear plastered upon each of those young faces, the three hosts. It was akin to DEAD MAN WALKING – as if the three were marching to the gallows. Something was about to happen?

    I must tell you it was then that I moved my chair closer to the TV and gripped the chair arms until my knuckles turned white, then blue. The stout chef was talking and still grinning. He really did sound like a loving grandpa as he expounded the wonderful protein benefits the platters of food provided. It was then that he indicated each platter of food with a twirl and swirl of the hand and with great relish began the gruesome descriptions: (1) Chicken hearts, with green and orange garnishments (not sure what was in the green and orange things – I must have blacked-out for a minute). (2) Calf’s tongue arranged in precise circular rotations, crisscrossed by yellow doodads (I didn’t need to know what the yellow thingy’s were – too much information). Now to the worst of all (3) Chocolate dessert made with beef's blood!

    What? Not chocolate – that’s all I had left! Don’t mess with my chocolate I screamed at the TV screen.

    Now I knew why there were gut-wrenching stares from the three TV hosts. These innocent ones were now expected to taste-test each one and as was customary, testify to their yummy attributes. I couldn’t see it happening.

    The first young woman stepped forward. She took a big gulp of air and popped a chicken heart in her mouth. As she crunched down on the main artery, I declare, her eyes actually rolled back in her head. It was a “TV first” … she disappeared from the set.

    Next was the young man. He MUST look manly and “soldier-up” to his responsibilities. I believe I could hear these uttering’s from his terrified mouth, as he took an up-close-and-personal-look at the platter of calf’s tongue. He managed to maintain a painted-on-type-grin upon his face as pierced a tongue with a large serving fork. The thing slivered off the fork as if it were alive. The young man stabbed again (really, really brave) and managed to throw the tongue over his tongue and down his throat. He held to the table until the ordeal was completed. I observed a change in him – the once chatty young man now stood quietly in the corner, with eyes lowered and his hand to his throat.

    The camera spanned to the last victim, err, I mean host. She had stood directly behind the chocolate/beef’s blood dessert, which was now her mission to accomplish, but now, she, too, cowered in the corner.

    The chef had stopped grinning.

    That’s when I left this madness – flipped to an old EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND segment, where the food is yummy and where chocolate is really chocolate.

    Anne B McKee is a writer and storyteller.  See her website: www.annemckee.net

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