Friday, July 30, 2010

Long Weekend Meter...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Chocolate's Lion's Share

It's certainly no news to us that people crave chocolate more than any other food.

Chocolate, made from the seeds of the Theobrama cacao tree, was known to the ancient Greeks as 'food of the gods'. The Aztecs reserved its consumption for priests, warriors and nobility and a beverage made from the seeds, called chocolatl, was a sacred concoction that was associated with fertility and wisdom. It was also thought to have stimulating and restorative values...

First introduced to Europe in 1528, it was not until 1876 that milk, cocoa powder and cocoa butter were mixed together to form what we now know as chocolate.

But who owns the lion's share of cravings in the world today?

The latest research I've found shows that 16 of the top 20 consuming counties are European. Switzerland leads in chocolate consumption at more than 22 pounds per person each year, followed by Austria at 20 pounds and Ireland at 19.5 pounds. America is estimated at a measly 11.7 pounds per person. Still, in 2001 Americans consumed 3 billion pounds of chocolate, which totaled $13.1 Billion in sales. 66% of chocolate is consumed between meals and it's been voted North America's favorite flavor by 52% of adults surveyed.

Most researchers believe chocolate's sensory qualities, chemicals, cultural values, social values and hormonal influences all play a role in chocolate cravings. It is the complete chocolate bar that people crave. Not one single chemical or quality can be soley responsible for satisfying a chocolate craving.

Whatever the reason, we all know it's definitely not advisable to get too close to a person's chocolate stash...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Retiring But Leaving Behind...

A rough illustration for an email retirement celebration announcement. The lady in question is a global traveler who has adopted animals from all over the world, from elephants in Africa to pandas in China... to strays at home. So when she retires at the end of the month, she takes with her an entourage... and leaves behind a plethora of examples of how to put your money where your heart is...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Temptation...

(Cue evil laugh: Bwah-ha-ha).

Push or don't push?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Queen Playtime

One of the differences Canadians have with our southern neighbors is our attachment to the Monarchy.

Some would argue that the royal link is outdated, irrelevant and should be rewritten. Others would claim that tradition and history has it's own special value, if not allure.

But whatever our positions, there is no mistaking the regal beauty of our Queen.

Anyway, the Queen is on Canadian soil until sometime after the weekend. I cut the grass, just in case she decides to drop by...