Do you ever wonder how we decided certain foods were...well...food?
Jonathan Swift observed that it was a brave man who ate the first oyster. Oysters are among my favorite foods, but I do not know that I would have ever put one in my mouth if someone else hadn't gone first and assured me that I would really love this weird-looking lump of wet gray stuff encased in a concrete-like shell.
Who decided that it would be a good idea to throw a handful of tea leaves in some boiling water?
As for coffee, who figured out that you had to wait till the fruit turned red, then pick it, then strip the flesh from the seeds, then dry the seeds, then roast the seeds, then grind them up, then brew them in hot water before throwing the bean particles away and drinking the leachate?
Chocolate is an even bigger tour-de-force. The cacao pods are harvested and sliced open so that the beans can be retrieved. The beans are fermented, and they germinate as part of that process. Ungerminated cacao beans lack flavor. (Did you know that? I didn't.) The heat of fermentation kills the germinated baby plant, which is very good for the chocoholic waiting for the bean to be made into chocolate. Then the beans are roasted, ground, refined, conched, tempered, and molded into the chocolate I love to eat.
If I had been required to figure all this out, we would now be living without tea, coffee, or chocolate, and there would be a lot less happiness in the world.
I, for one, enjoy a daily Hershey bar fix. Those marvelous brain-altering chemicals in chocolate put me in the right frame of mind for telling stories. My books would be different without the benefit of chocolate. Besides, chocolate is good for you. It is made of beans, and beans are vegetables. A single bar of milk chocolate, my preferred poison, has enough milk in it to provide 8% of your daily requirement of calcium. One day, I may see if I can eat twelve of them, thus fulfilling 100% of my recommended daily allowance.
Chocolate is proof that God loves us and he wants us to be happy. Do not try to convince me otherwise.