I don't like chocolate. I never have, and I probably never will.
Many people are shocked when I break the news to them, particularly the die-hard chocolate types: "You don't like chocolate?" they say in a disturbed and saddened tone, as though someone has just died, hand to their chest, jaw wide open.
"No," I respond. "It just tastes bitter to me. Sorry."
"But why?" they always ask, "Why?"
For the most part, I've come to peace with my chocolate-hating-fate. I've let it go. I don't care that much. I've never known what deep pleasure chocolate brings and so have never regretted not liking it. My grandfather doesn't like it either, maybe it's a family thing?
But to get to the bottom of this, I decided it was time to email food scientist-extraordinaire Harold McGee. For those of you who don't know Harold - the Curious Cook - he's the author of the now classic food-science guide On Food and Cooking, food columnist for The New York Times, and all-around authority on all things food-science related.
I emailed Harold asking him why I don't like chocolate, and much to my surprise, he emailed me back (thanks, Harold!).
His answer: "no clue!"
So there you have it. If Harold doesn't know, nobody knows. Now when people demand to know why I don't like one of life's true pleasures, I can tell them that I have no idea... and neither does Harold McGee.
Though he does note that one day I might like chocolate. But I might not.
And I'm just fine with that.