The soft center of the San Miguel Resource Center’s annual “Fling” is a chocolate buffet

The soft center of the San Miguel Resource Center’s annual “Fling” is a chocolate buffet

[click “Play” to hear Susan’s interview with Jill Roisman]

  2009 Poster 010609
Poster by Kim Hilley

Chocolate predates Telluride (and its famous Fling). The history of chocolate actually dates back at least 1,500 years, when the Mayans of Central America crushed cocoa beans into an unsweetened beverage. The Aztecs had a name for that beverage: xocolatl or bitter water. The Aztec ruler, Montezuma II, is said to have consumed 50 or more golden goblets filled with bitter water each day.

Chocolate, also called “food of the gods,” was used in religious ceremonies. Its seeds were traded as currency.

The Spanish conquistador Cortes is said to have called chocolate “the divine drink which builds up resistance and fights fatigue.”
Years later in Europe, chocolate was prescribed for depression and made into love and death potions. (Its bitter flavor masked poisons.)

You are in good company if you find the allure of chocolate irresistible. (Cravings may be in part be attributed to the natural chemicals in chocolate, one of which, theobromine, is thought to produce feelings of well being.)

Remember the movie “Chocolat”? A red-caped Juliet Binoche swept into a rural French village on a mysterious breeze laced with cocoa and exotic spices, her valise filled with chocolate promising untold pleasures for the town’s inhabitants.

Integrative medicine guru Andrew Weill is widely quoted as saying that “good quality dark chocolate eaten in moderate amounts makes an interesting addition to the diet – if you can afford the calories.” As it turns out, chocolate contains antioxidants similar to those found in red wine, certain fruits and vegetables and certain teas.

Saturday, February 7, is the 14th annual Chocolate Lovers’ Fling, the San Miguel Resource Center’s only major fundraiser. Attendees can feel good about eating chocolate from the decadent buffet for one more, health-related reason: The SMRC is the only entity in the region dealing with issues of domestic violence and sexual assault. Attending the Fling, disco dancing, bidding for prizes and eating chocolate goes to supporting healthy relationships and stomping out abuse in our back yard.

For more on what imaginative confections are in store at the buffet, click “play” to listen to  Jill Roisman’s podcast.

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