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Chocolate anxiety

By Staff | Aug 10, 2022

I know we’ve all been dealing with shortages and “supply chain issues.” Our loss of “normal life” has been frustrating as we deal with all the problems that seem to go on and on like a row of falling dominoes.

We all seemed to live through the toilet paper shortage crisis. That wasn’t easy. I remember well the pained looks on people’s faces as we stood together staring at the empty shelves at the store. I remember the looks of gratitude of those who received gifts of T.P. when we had extra to share.

I’ve heard that there’s no need to currently worry about another toilet paper shortage. I believe that. But, guess what I’ve got a little back-up supply of in storage? It’s something that doesn’t have a “best by date” on it.

Shortages of different things have effects on different segments of the population. The shortage of baby formula and tampons hasn’t affected me too much personally. I’m not at the age and stage (or gender) for those issues. But I do know it’s been a problem for many.

Bicycles seem to be more available now than a year or so ago. The owner of the bike shop in Ephraim shut down completely because he just couldn’t get bikes to put on the floor to sell. When we got new bikes at the beginnings of the shortage time, there was a wait and limited choices for colors, etc. Right now, demand is up and so are prices.

I’ve done my part to lessen the impact of the champagne shortage. I’ve continued my abstinence from drinking it. There have been some events lately that would have justified popping open bottles of the bubbly, but I’ve held firm. I don’t want others to go without by reason of me starting to imbibe. That’s the thoughtful kind of guy I am.

I know there’s been a shortage of gasoline in some countries. We seem to be able to get it here, if we want to pay the price. However, coming back home to Sanpete via Nephi last Saturday night, the $4.259 gas there was “sold out.”

The long-time question is why gas is always significantly cheaper in Sevier and Juab counties? It makes me scratch my head.

I could go on and on about many different shortages. I have kind of already done that. These are crazy times. I’ve heard in the news about scarcity of computer chips, eggs, lumber, maple syrup, coins, garage doors, cars, and Christmas trees.

But, what I’ve finally gotten to here now, and want to mention, is what is really rocking my boat and may be the straw that breaks my camel’s back. It’s got me as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

You probably have an idea of what is stressing me out. It’s a possible shortage coming up that is giving me anxiety. If you know what it is, join with me by putting your hands on your head and scream with me: “Oh nooooo! Don’t tell me that there is going to be a chocolate shortage!”

I heard rumblings in the news a couple of weeks ago. Major companies dealing in the chocolate world announced that there may be a shortage of chocolate candy for the Halloween season. There are lots of reasons: drought in Africa blah blah blah, increased demand blah, blah, blah, shortage of fertilizers on cocoa farms blah, blah, blah – etc. etc.

The bottom line is that some of us chocolatophiles (a made-up word) (some would say chocoholics) need to brace ourselves. I feel like the first thing for me to do is to is to have faith that Hershey, Nestle, Ghirardelli, Godiva, Mars, Sees, Russell Stover, and all the rest will figure this all out.

I don’t want to be standing with you in the store looking at empty shelves with glazed looks on our faces. There’s only so much we can take. It might just be the thing that would push some of us over the edge.

We’ve nodded and claimed we understood all the “labor issues, supply chains, pandemic’ed, monkey poxed, monkey business nonsense.” But up to now, we’ve had chocolate to help us understand. Without chocolate, all bets are off.

In a practical sense, I’ve decided to add a little more chocolate to my home storage. I think it’s the “Joseph in Egypt” biblical thing to do. When you hear that there is going to be a famine, prepare for it.

I’ve learned that chocolate lasts longer than some of us have thought. Over time chocolate will get a white film on it. This is not mold. It is called “chocolate bloom.” It’s the result of the liquid fat migrating through and crystalizing on the surface. It’s harmless.

Okay, okay – I know. Even though it’s harmless, it doesn’t look very appetizing. But IF we get hit with a “famine” – beggars can’t be choosers.

Don’t tell anyone, but I have a super-secret source for what I consider to be good chocolate. I didn’t say fabulous chocolate. I said good. There’s this place called “Dollar Tree” which really should be called “Dollar and a Quarter Tree.”

They sell Landmark Confections chocolate. It’s a product of Poland. On a lucky day, you’ll find milk chocolate. Most days, you’ll find dark chocolate and versions with raspberry fillings, etc. Like I said, this is a secret. So, keep your knowledge of this source of decent European chocolate “under your hat.”

Life with shortages and delays is maddening. And we haven’t even mentioned airline travel here. Let’s all give each other the support we can to make it through all the problems of our day.

And, we need to remind ourselves, that compared to millions and millions of other people in the world, Sanpeters have it really good – with or without chocolate. — Merrill


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