Yesterday, on my carpool ride home, my coworker and I stopped at a corner farm (Noggins, if you’re in the NS area).

I don’t get to go there much, to be honest. I ride a bike or carpool, and if I carpool, I don’t ask for favours like stopping off at a particular place to pick up something unless it’s dire straits. The Farmer’s Market here is every Saturday, and guess when I work? Every Saturday. My boyfriend goes for me and we get all our veggies and meat there, but I definitely miss the social interaction, and the beautiful way the vegetables and fruits are displayed, with such pride and care. Not like at the grocery store, where I have to painstakingly analyse every tag and bag to make sure it’s from Atlantic Canada – at least. Else, I don’t buy it. It sucks sometimes. I don’t buy bananas, oranges, avocados, and other such fruits that I love. And for those that say, “Oh my god, how can you not buy bananas? They are such a good source of potassium!”

You know, there are many other sources of potassium–and every other vitamin and mineral, in fact–that you can find in vegetables and fruits that grow well in temperate climates.

It’s not an easy step to take, cutting out tropical fruits, because now we group apples and bananas together as if they were from the same group. They’re not. Oranges used to be a once-a-year treat for children, only at Christmastime. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them. I love them. But I don’t feel right.

(Sidenote: I just about died when my boyfriend and I went to Malaysia and Taiwan. In the latter, there was a fruit man who spoke no English and we spoke little Mandarin, but we still managed to get fantastic fruits from him almost daily. The exceptions were when he fell asleep while watching his little T.V. he had hooked up outside.

In Malaysia–Kota Kinabalu, more specifically–they had every kind of fruit and vegetable you can imagine, many that I’d never seen before, and plenty. The young girls who worked at the reception in our hostel thought we were insane when we’d return from the Filipino market with armloads of fruit and a knife from the dollar store to cut it all up and eat it for supper.)

Night Market in Malaysia

I guess my point is… this is how I feel food should be enjoyed: in season, in the place where it is originally grown. I’m not opposed to say, growing tomatoes in Canada even though they’re originally grown in hotter, Mediterranean climates. But I don’t want to eat one in Canada that’s from Mexico, the U.S., or further. They sell basil at the grocery store that’s grown in Israel, packaged in Ontario, and shipped to Nova Scotia. I don’t even want to think about adding up those miles.

And back to my Noggins trip. I was talking with my coworker about whatever we were talking about, and we both stopped mid-sentence when we saw one of the first stands in the corner market: strawberries. They are finally in season, and they sold for $3.75/quart. I bought two, and have almost finished off one already at home. They were grown in Port Williams, which is less than 10 kilometres from my home. And my god, they were delicious.

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Mmm, all I could want after a long day at work would be chocolate. Dark chocolate.

(Ahem… of course, after a nutritious meal of chicken pita wraps loaded with vegetables and tzatziki on the side. Seriously though, I did, I promise. I have to start eating better after that trip to my Mom’s, she has nothing but bad-for-me food around the house. I’m back on the healthy stuff and this was delicious. I also smothered mine in hot and sweet mustard, which I just discovered this week–where has it been all my life? But don’t worry, I avoided mixing it directly with the tzatziki. That would probably be gross.)

But back to the chocolate. This chocolate in particular:

I'm surprised the chocolatey goodness lasted long enough for me to take a photo.

To the left is the dark chocolate peppered with candied ginger, and to the left the inferior milk chocolate with roasted hazelnuts. The latter I brought home for my boyfriend. Clearly I could not resist on the dark chocolate, as it was already half gone when I took the photo.

Before all those in fervent support for milk chocolate come out with their pitchforks, here me out: you are wrong. Sure, milk chocolate is fantastic for combining some lovely flavours (see hazelnuts above, and also, peanut butter, strawberries, and other decadent treats I don’t even want to think about), but I dare you to try and not gorge yourself if given the opportunity.

Dark chocolate is infinitely more complex than its counterparts. It is the femme fatale of all chocolate, tempting and rich, but only allowing its admirers a few bites before they feel satiated. But while they might not have more in this particular moment, they will always remember the experience. And that will lead them to yet another love affair, same time next week.

I can justify it because it’s healthy. Sort of.

And don’t get me started on white chocolate. I’ve been known to cheat on dark chocolate with high quality white every now and then, but at the end of the day, it’s not the real thing. (I have found two Facebook groups agreeing that “White Chocolate is Gross” with a combined total of 22 people, so it must be true.)

The only thing that can top this love affair is to finish it off with a glass of red. Too bad Nova Scotia doesn’t make great reds all that often. But I drink them anyway. Damn you, conscience.