Personals, Corned Beef and Chocolate

I’ve been reading personals on Craigslist…. No, Joe has nothing to fear; I’m not looking for me, it’s research for a writing project. Really. But it struck me that most people don’t spell-check, and if you’re looking to make a good first impression, wouldn’t a typo-free, grammatically correct, and well-thought-out listing boost your chances?

I’ve always wondered, if there’s men looking for women and women looking for men, and both post ads, why can’t someone develop a program to take all those listings, analyze them and spit out pairings. It would be interesting to see how they might work out.

I think most of the time people just think they want X, Y, and Z in a partner. But they could end up with a soul mate who is A, B and C and live happily ever after. Personal chemistry is tricky thing to convey and predict in personal ads.

Some people wake up bright and early to attend day-after Thanksgiving and X’mas sales. My cousin and I would stock up on discounted candy on February 15 and November 1. But nothing compares to getting corned beef and cabbage on sale (45% off) at the supermarket after St. Patrick’s Day. It’s our annual corned beef ritual: boiling the brisket for a few hours, adding cabbage wedges in the last 15 minutes and scarfing down with rice. Repeat scarfing of the leftovers. Yum. I like corned beef, but the rest of the year I don’t really eat much of it, I rarely order corned beef hash at brunch, or corned beef sandwiches.

Dark Chocolate with Nuts: For some reason, Americans prefer milk chocolate (mellower, but overly-sweet) to dark chocolate (with its roast-bitter tones.) The milk chocolate from Europe, like Lindt, is better balanced for flavor.
When buying bar chocolate for eating, you can find plain milk, plain dark (with varying % of cocoa), milk with nuts, dark with dried fruit and nuts. But you don’t find dark chocolate with nuts-only, i.e. without the dried fruit (usually cranberries.) Why is this? I like dark chocolate, I like nuts, I don’t mind the dried fruit, but Joe doesn’t think dried fruit belongs in chocolate.
Even Trader Joe’s with its assortment of chocolate-based snacks, doesn’t have dark chocolate covered nuts. They have dark covered- ginger, -soy nuts, – espresso beans, all milk covered almonds, but dark and milk covered almonds mixed in together. No dark-covered almonds only. What gives? I had to resort to getting a dark Toblerone bar.

When we went on a tour of the Scharffenberger chocolate factory in Berkeley recently, I asked them why they didn’t make chocolate bars with nuts (most of their chocolates are dark), and they said if they did, they’d have to do it in a separate facility, because of peanut allergy concerns.


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