My relationship with Chocolate


Aspen Bishop

I love chocolate. It’s my favorite flavor of ice cream and cake, both of which I don’t really like unless it is chocolate flavored. Sadly though, I have developed an allergy to chocolate, or rather an intolerance.

My whole life I have eaten chocolate, and loved it. The problem really started when I was around nine and on vacation. Whenever I eat chocolate ice cream and went on a car ride after, I got sick.

Now, I don’t think it was car sickness as 1. I don’t get motion sick really and 2. The second time, I had eaten the ice cream and then went to sleep in a hotel, I got sick the next morning on an hour drive to the airport. There was around 8 hours in between the car ride and the drive.

Another reason it wasn’t car sickness was that years later the same thing would happen if I had just walked 1/4 of a mile back to my house from the local Ice Cream Shoppe. I just figured that I should only eat chocolate ice cream if I could lay down afterwards. I didn’t really make the connection of an allergy until later.

When I was 16 years old (I’m 17 now) I was talking to my friends about our favorite candy flavors. I said “Yeah, I like chocolate, but it burns your throat when you eat it.” They all looked at me and said “No, no it doesn’t. Are you allergic to chocolate?”

I hadn’t ever thought of that. Was I? I went home later and asked my family if chocolate burned their throats. The consensus then was “No.” I was confused. I had been raised believing that everyone’s throats burned when they eat chocolate. To me it was so normal, that no one talked about it.  If they did, it would be like “Rain makes you wet” something so obvious and known, there was no point in talking about it.

I had no idea that I was the odd one out

Then I moved and suddenly my reactions to chocolate started getting worse, it seemed that whenever I eat more than one fun size candy bar, I would get nauseous. The more I eat, the sicker I got. It took until November of this year, when I got extremely sick after eating my sister’s chocolate birthday cake that my parents were like “No more for you, you can only have a little bit on special occasions”

I love chocolate, and it seemed like all of the sudden I couldn’t eat it. Why now? Why do I have to give it up after I grew to love it?

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this had been happening all of my life. Not with all chocolate, (though to be fair it’s not even all chocolate now) but I would get sick when eating really rich, chocolatey foods like brownies or good Hot Chocolate.

It isn’t a new thing, but it seems that with my age, my sensitivity to chocolate grows. I can still eat Nutella and Oreos without getting sick, but how much longer until those are taken away?

I see so many people eating chocolate and serving chocolate dishes and I just want to eat it with them. Sometimes I still do. I can’t give it up entirely.

The jury is still out on whether I am actually allergic to chocolate, or if I am actually just allergic to a commonly used additive, or something used during the refinery process. But for now I ‘try’ to avoid all chocolate, just in case. (Except  for Oreos and Nutella, still not allergic to those!)

So, all in all, it kind of sucks to be allergic to chocolate. Especially because I have been eating it my whole life and I know what it tastes like. I just want to go back to the happy days of being able to eat what I want, whenever I wanted. I want to drink hot chocolate when it gets cold and eat brownies and cake with others. Sadly, I cannot.

In the meantime I tend to prefer vanilla or caramel flavored things, at least, until we can find out a solution that allows me to eat chocolate again. For now thought, Caramel is my favorite flavor.