Pleasure is underrated. I have a pretty good life. I live in the most spectacular place of the Appalachians. We own a wonderful retreat center. We get to indulge in nature as much as we can. But sometimes, we try deeply to avoid simple pleasure due to an unjust sense of responsibility. I love watching children dive into their desires. They can get into a piece of chocolate cake with such immense guiltless pleasure and a part of me envies that relentless behavior. When did we forget to indulge as adults? When was the last time that the diet went out the door, play took over, and food once again became an aphrodisiac. Chocolate: scrumptious, devouring, yummilicious…ahhhhhh! Is there anything more enticing and primitive as the tongue unraveling a great piece of excess cocoa, twirling in pure ecstasy begging for more?
Yesterday my best friend and I took a short drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway. It started out beautiful but the weather soon turn into fog and rain. We turned around with coolness impregnated on our skin from the open convertible. She said she wanted chocolate. She had been watching the movie Chocolat for a few nights. After some silence and a subconscious suggestion (I am so easily influenced that it is sickening at times) I answered, “Let’s go get chocolate in downtown Asheville. Let’s go to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge.” Like two insane hungry Thelma and Louise we found ourselves inside the cafe.
We ordered two hot chocolates with lavender and honey. We shared a carrot cake for breakfast and a chocolate cake called Quitessential for lunch all in one sitting. The experience was exquisite and sublime. I remember a line from the movie Chocolat, “I could do with a bit more excess. From now on I’m going to be immoderate—and volatile—I shall enjoy loud music and lurid poetry. I shall be rampant.” I might add I shall be free to do whatever I please while eating guiltless amount of real chocolate…!
Each mouthful was a chattering divulging ecstatic experience. The explosion of bitterness, softness, and sweetness all in one mouthful was overwhelming. I sat in front of my friend, fork dancing in the air, eyes shut as if conducting an orchestra mesmerized by the essences of all the senses combined with the drink. If I was to pick a moment to die…well that would have been the perfect exit to my life. That would have said something valid about love and chocolate. It was that divine. All their desserts are organic and one munches with the belief that it’s good for you because it is. How can something that Godly be anything but divine!
What can we celebrate in life if not the simple taste of living to the fullest, through food, drinking, loving and sharing? From the moment we embark in this journey we are surrounded by excess and limit ourselves on a daily basis. Walking into that lounge, the smell of confection, sugarplum, frosting, lavender, and childhood memories recollect of a chubby kid on her tip toes pointing to the glass of bonbons allows anyone in a moment to fall in love with chocolate all over again. Doesn’t chocolate fix just about anything? As Charles M. Schulz says, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Once we were done I walked out intoxicated. I was in such a sugar high that I had to stop and compose myself laughing at the gratification of the moment. I sat in the car in divine light telling myself that the dessert was the best pleasure I had experience in a long time. My friend, laughing in her own mystical moment of extraction, rejoiced in the decision of breakfast and lunch in one sitting. Everything looked sweeter and joyful on the way home. Our hearts and tummies were full of mischievous actions like children who got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. “Your hand and your mouth agreed many years ago that, as far as chocolate is concerned, there is no need to involve your brain.”~ Dave Barry
If you are ever in Asheville I urge you to visit the French Broad Chocolate Lounge on Lexington. Indulge for a few moments. You won’t regret it. https://frenchbroadchocolates.com