If your house is anything like mine, the evidence of Valentine’s Day is still fully displayed. Pink and purple construction paper hearts on the fridge. Extra valentines from classroom exchanges waiting to be put away. There might even be some tasty treats left somewhere.
    Our kids usually give their friends string cheese or snack cheese for Valentine’s Day. But this year, two classrooms asked that valentines be brought to school early, so cheese wasn’t an option. They selected the next best Valentine’s Day treat: chocolate.
    Faced with all of the chocolate options in the candy aisle at our grocery store, we ended up with the original Hershey’s milk chocolate fun-sized bars. Monika reasoned that milk chocolate was as close to a dairy product as candy gets. I love her devotion to dairy. Dan’s first choice was Twix bars – his favorite – but he agreed to give Hershey’s so that we could split a bag between their classes. Bless his practicality.
    Turns out, several of their school friends chose chocolate, as well. Our kids came home with quite an assortment of chocolate treats.
    Observing the chocolate consumption tendencies of my family, I was reminded of the personality profiles we recently completed for an extension class Glen and I are taking. Surely there’s a correlation between chocolate preference and being a lion, otter, golden retriever, or beaver.
    Daphne’s chocolate personality can best be illustrated by this: By the time she got home from school her bag of Valentine’s Day candy was essentially all empty wrappers. There were a few packages of fruity treats left untouched, but the chocolate had disappeared.
    Daphne will eat anything made with or enrobed in milk chocolate, but her favorite pairing is chocolate and caramel (aka Rolos).
    Monika, in some ways, is the opposite of her little sister. Monika still has a stash of candy from Halloween hidden somewhere in our house. No doubt, there’s also chocolate from Christmas. And now her Valentine’s Day candy will be added to the collection. She self rations her treats and constantly rotates her hiding spots to make sure her dad and her little sister don’t find her stash.
    Monika likes any kind of chocolate – except dark chocolate. She prefers milk chocolate so much that when we made Valentine’s Day brownies, she asked if we could make some that weren’t so “dark chocolatey”. My usual brownies have an intense dark chocolate flavor and fudgy texture. We found a recipe that resulted in brownies on the milk chocolate end of the spectrum. All of the kids thought they were perfect. (I’ll keep my dark chocolate fudgy brownies for myself.)
    Dan falls into the same can’t-wait-to-eat-it chocolate category as Daphne. His Valentine’s Day chocolate was consumed almost instantly. He, too, likes any type of chocolate candy, but given a choice, he prefers his chocolate with caramel and the crunch of a cookie base. I think he asks me weekly to make homemade Twix bars.
    Glen’s chocolate personality is both eat-it-now and hide-it-for-later, with a side of not-above-sneaking-chocolate. He often has chocolate stashed somewhere in the barn – usually a bag of chocolate chips from my baking cupboard. (I’ve learned to pick up chocolate chips every time I’m at the grocery store, lest I go to bake something and find the cupboard bare.)
    As implied above, Glen’s been known to sneak chocolate from the kids’ holiday candy. I often wonder if Dan and Daphne’s chocolate consumption is motivated by their desire to eat all their candy before Dad finds it, rather than put forth the effort to hide it.
    Glen would be hard pressed to choose a favorite chocolate candy – he’s not picky. But I have noticed that when presented with a full Halloween bucket or Valentine’s Day stash, he goes for the Snickers and Twix bars first.
    My chocolate profile points to all things dark chocolate. As a kid, I didn’t like chocolate at all, so I’m not sure how I arrived at my love for dark chocolate, but it’s undeniable now. It also works out very well for me. I can keep a package of intense dark chocolate in the house in plain sight and nobody snitches from it.
    I enjoy dark chocolate all by itself, though I often savor it with a cup of hot tea. My favorite dark chocolate has notes of mocha, blackberry, and dark cherry. Did you know that all varieties of milk and dark chocolate have underlying flavor notes?
    What’s your chocolate profile? Do you eat your chocolate right away or save some for later? Do you like milk chocolate or dark chocolate? With caramel, nuts, or other fillings or all by itself?
    There might not be a proven formula for correlating chocolate preference to personality type. I’m sure there are as many different chocolate desires as there are different personalities. But, it would be a delicious way to conduct a personality test.
    Sadie and her husband, Glen, milk 100 cows near Melrose, Minn. They have three children – Dan, 11, Monika, 8, and Daphne, 5. Sadie also writes a blog at www.dairygoodlife.com. She can be reached at sadiefrericks@gmail.com.