There are certain things that strike me as inherently romantic. Maybe it's because tradition says they are or retail has made it so. Or, maybe, it's because they are sensual. Chocolate is one of those things.
This coming weekend is the Colorado Chocolate Festival here in Denver and my taste buds are tingling already. I can feel the smooth texture of milky chocolate melting in my mouth…the sweet subtly of white chocolate…the bittersweet bite of dark chocolate…the crunch of nuts…warm liquid centers. Oh, yeah…it's definitely the sensuality in this case.
In the nineteenth century, chocolates were not widely available unless there was a candy confectioner nearby. Cheyenne had one—the Ellis Candy Store—offering baked goods and confections such as Charlotte Russe, macaroons, lady fingers, and chocolate kisses. The store later discontinued its bakery and opened an ice cream parlor in the rear.
When I researched Denver history for CHANCES, I discovered Joslin's Dry Goods Company (later Joslin's Department Store) had a confectionary. The store was initially located at 15th and Larimer Streets. Every Thursday, there were Candy Specials such as Coconut Dainties for 20 cents per pound. I couldn't resist having my heroine head for Joslin's for a chocolate binge when all seemed lost.
Today, we find candy stores in malls and on the main streets of tourist towns and mountain villages. Chocolate bars are available at grocery stores and gas stations. We pay extra for it at movie theaters. Holidays such as Valentine's Day, Easter, and Mother's Day are surrounded by displays of gift boxes urging us to gift those we love. On TV, we watch competitors on Survivor balance on poles and offer outrageous bids just for a taste of chocolate. We have chocolate fountains at wedding. Strawberries dipped in chocolate are very nearly heaven and watching someone else eat one is…well… heaven itself. Liquid chocolate dribbled in the right places can be erotic.
Chocolate is that all wonderful treat that pleasures us, comforts us, re-energizes us, and conveys love.
Somehow, it's only suiting that five Denver area romance authors will help select the best truffles of the festival. If you live in the area, come on out and experience it with us. If not, eat some anyway and think about the simple pleasures to be found in chocolate and in romance.