I’m in the joy business

Presenting a talk on the science of taste at a retirement community in Chester County.

I’m not a chocolate guru.

I don’t have a “dark chocolate” agenda.

When a client hires me, there’s a tacit expectation that I’ll approve or disapprove of their choices.

But I won’t judge you for what you like, because I’m in the business of making you happy. Sure, I’ll tell you what criteria I use to select a chocolate. But I never, ever want to make you feel bad for liking what you like.

When I started my chocolate journey, I looked up to expert figures to approve of a chocolate choice.

Some would say “taste is a personal matter” but, in the same breath, acted like they held dark chocolate or 2-ingredient bars (cacao beans and sugar) in higher regards.

This used to make me feel inadequate, until I decided to focus my attention inward. That’s when I connected with myself and what gave me pleasure.

The truth is, we all come to specialty foods with a baggage full of insecurity. So when we embark on a flavor journey, we need someone who’ll guide us with encouraging words.

Have fun.
Try everything.
Get to know yourself.

This is the advice I give to new chocolate enthusiasts.

The fact is, some people will never ever tolerate, let alone like, dark chocolate because of their genetic make-up.

Google “TAS2R38” to learn why.

When we say something like “dark chocolate is the best” or “white chocolate is not real chocolate,” we subtly imply there is a hierarchy of taste.

And that, to me, isn’t OK.

I’m in the joy business.

I’ll take you on a flavor journey.

You’ll be the one doing the judging.

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