Autumn. A chill in the air. In the summer, the sun's all I need to raise my spirits, but in the dark days to come? Time to stock up on my favourite winter pick-me-up - for me an essential antidote to my seasonal affection disorder. Music to the ears of the organisers of the 17th Salon de Chocolat taking place at the Porte de Versailles on the 24th. During the Spanish Inquisition, Jewish artisans, who had become experts at making palatable chocolate from Mexican beans, were expelled yet again from Spain and Portugal and settled in Bayonne where the European chocolate tradition was born.
I grew up a stone's throw away from the Cadbury factory in Bournville. Ah, those Dairy Milk bars, Fruit n Nut and Whole Nut. Bournville in the early 50s was an idealised social village, where workers were housed, fed and looked after by their employer. As a child I remember school tours around the factory, being handed wonderful samples as we watched all the different varieties being produced, and being given treasured gifts of assortments and Cadbury pencilboxes as we left. But, today in France, I have taught myself to only eat dark chocolate, the healthier variety as I struggle with my weight.
Researchers recently reported that eating dark chocolate does not raise cholesterol, has the same health benefits as exercise and definitely works against depression. So what can I do but succumb?