Even in prison, where we did not have access to dark chocolate, I kept up with the health reports being issued as new research was steadily producing results in the past decade on how beneficial dark chocolate was. Over the course of my 12 years of incarceration, I often talked about my love of dark chocolate and how much I missed it, and how deprived I felt that I couldn’t try the new brands coming out on a regular basis. I even whined about not getting to taste the new dark chocolate Kisses and M&Ms.
When I was in the Federal Correctional Institution at Tucson, Arizona, and we were allowed to order books from the Tucson library system, one of the books I ordered was THE EMPERORS OF CHOCOLATE, the story of the long rivalry between Hershey and Mars—one of the best books about business I’ve ever come across.
About a year before parole, I asked my longtime friend Susannah Lippman to try several varieties of dark chocolate and send me her honest opinion, so I would have an idea of which ones to try first once I was out in the world. On my parole day, August 24, 2008, as I arrived in San Francisco from Folsom State Prison, one of my very first stops was a Walgreens, and I was surprised and delighted to find they had a large selection of dark chocolate. I bought a number of bars I could not really afford on what was left of my $200 “gate money” after my train trip. Two I particularly liked were the Cacao Reserve Dark Chocolate Truffles in a small tin container by Hershey, and the Ghiradelli Twilight Dark 72% bar.
When I arrived at the apartment of another longtime friend, Bonnie Weiss, where I was spending my first night of freedom prior to reporting to the parole office in San Mateo County the next morning, she had gotten several other gourmet brands of dark chocolate as a welcoming gift. So I already had a commitment to enjoying and sharing dark chocolate. And we three, Susannah, Bonnie, and I…all seemed to agree on which were our favorites. Flash forward several weeks and I get a call from Susannah in Santa Fe telling me she has just tasted the best dark chocolate of them all, and she got it from her health practitioner, and it was chockfull not only of flavor but exceptional health benefits. Whoa..my brain and taste buds said…here is something I’ve got to get my hands on and mouth on.
Jerry Gillies(To get your hands and mouth on some of this great healthy dark chocolate and find out more,
contact me online at: firstname.lastname@example.org)