Women are supposed to have some kind of mystic relationship with chocolate. My question is, “Who doesn’t?”

The Field Museum’s website says the Maya first harvested cacao beans, roasted them, ground them up and mixed them with water and spices to create a frothy, spicy beverage they used in religious ceremonies. Twenty-four hundred years later, I eat a couple of squares of high-cacao-content dark chocolate every day.

Religiously.

My love of chocolate gives me one more thing to talk with my mom about. We talk often and about lots of topics, but when chocolate comes up, the first thing I do after hanging up is head for my stash in the spice cabinet.

When the kids were small, it was impossible to keep any chocolate around for long. Candy bars. Kisses. Chocolate chips. Cocoa Krispies. So I started secreting away Lindt, Ghirardelli, Hershey and Seroogy bars in a Tupperware container on a high shelf above the curry powder and behind the Pyrex measuring cup. Everyone knows to stay away.

Except my dad.

One day when he was visiting from Arizona, my son dashed into Mary Jo’s office in a panic and said, “Grandpa Buzz is looking for Dad’s chocolate!” Mary Jo acted fast, diffusing the situation by directing him to a communal stockpile.

Chocolate makes an appearance in Fast Lane as part of Lara’s musings about Clay before she meets him: “He was creamy and smooth as the ganache in a Lindor truffle. And as much of a threat to the heart as coconut oil. Women found him irresistible.”

Yes, coconut oil. So gooey in the arteries, so yummy on the tongue.

Wait.

Be right back. I have to run down to the kitchen for a minute.

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