Several years ago my friend Kris and I were eating out at a Lebanese restaurant. The waiter asked if we wanted dessert, and after he left, Kris leaned over and whispered to me, quietly and seriously, “They're not a chocolate-based society.”
“I think they know,” I whispered back. “Why are we whispering?
We didn't have dessert. At least not there.
These categories of civilization are a serious and sensitive matter. I think of Kris often as I wander the streets here. France is not only a chocolate-based society, but the rez-de-chausee and the first floor and maybe even the second floor are chocolate, too. Chocolate croissants, chocolate mousse, chocolate doughnuts, hot chocolate, chocolate bars, chocolate ice cream, chocolate tartes. Chocolate everywhere!