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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Monday, May 15, 2023
8:34 pm

It’s National Chocolate Chip Day.

Not cookie day. Just chip.

And since it’s food and I probably have a thousand things to say about it, or at least a thousand words, it is my word for the day. Chocolatechips. Or if you have a mouthful, choccachips.

Interestingly enough I mentioned chocolate chip cookies recently and how they were invented by accident. Which it seems they weren’t – or not likely. The woman who invented them was not just some random person at home who forgot the chocolate at the grocery store so threw a chocolate bar into her cookies instead.

She was an experienced baker working at the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts. It’s debatable whether the chicken or the egg came first, but Toll House Inn came before Toll House cookies, and chocolate chip cookies came before actual chocolate chips.

According to legend, myth, rumor or true story, Ruth Graves Wakefield of cookie fame cut up a Nestle chocolate bar and stuck it in her cookies. A culinary joy was born. Then Nestle found out and gave her a sweet deal: a lifetime supply of chocolate for her recipe on the chocolate bar’s packaging.

That’s right, the recipe did not show up originally on a bag of chocolate chips but on an actual chocolate bar. And in a case of “well that’s pretty cool”, they also included a chocolate cutter with the bars so you could make your own chips.

Fun fact: guess what word you will NOT find on any package of Nestle chocolate chips?

I know you have a bag. Go look. I’ll wait.

Chocolate chips weren’t an actual thing until something like four years later. Now they’re ubiquitous.

One thing I always have in my pantry: chocolate chips, the semisweet kind. And none of those mini ones, either. As much as I loathe baking chocolate chip cookies, chips have myriad other uses in things like pumpkin bread and hot chocolate and brownies and of course pancakes.

Best way to eat chocolate chips: dump them into a jar of peanut butter and scoop them into your face with a spoon.

Fun fact number two: the chocolate chip cookie is the official state cookie of Massachusetts, of course.

Corollary fun fact: the only other state with an official cookie? New Mexico. Theirs is the bizcochito, which I had never heard of until today. It’s a not very sweet anise flavored cookie, which sounds all right with me. Reminds me a bit of the Stella D’oro Anisette Toast. Bet they could benefit from a dip in some melted chocolate chips.

It seems like other states have been proposing legislation to adopt their own official cookies, and chocolate chip makes the list in a lot of cases. Wyoming has been trying to get it done since 2003. Pennsylvania since 2006. Are they just too busy eating them to adopt them?

Only brand of chocolate chips worth buying: Nestle.

I’m not usually a brand person. I’m more of a “whatever is cheapest” person. I’m all for off-label stuff except for a few things that require a very specific purchase. Hershey’s cocoa for one. Nestle chocolate chips for another. But never the other way around.

I like chocolate. I love chocolate. I’ll eat Hershey bars and Dove bars and Ghirardelli bars. Chocolate frequently appears in my mailbox as a gift from my mother, who somehow unearths every obscure brand on the planet.

I was recently enlightened to Tony’s Chocolonely, which is pretty spectacular. And I particularly like “real” chocolate, the kind made with 75 or 85 or even 100% cocoa.

But for chips? Nestle or bust.

I’ve had all those other brands, including a few store brands. They are not the same.

Have you gone and looked at your bag yet?

Chocolate chip ice cream is pretty good. Chocolate chip mint ice cream is one of my faves. Chocolate chip cookie dough… I refuse to discuss how many pints of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream I have eaten in one sitting on the grounds of self-incrimination.

I swear I don’t look these days up. They just come to me when I need them. Today it was an email from Nestle with recipes that would surely derail a month of Peloton. I unsubscribe from emails with prejudice but can’t quit Nestle.

Dark chocolate chips: good. Milk chocolate chips: bad. Semisweet chocolate chips: perfect.

In the event that you have eaten all the chocolate chips in your house and are in suspense about which word does not appear on the bag, it’s chips. They are not actually called chocolate chips, but morsels. Doesn’t have quite the same ring, does it?

But a chip by any other name would still taste as sweet, and even though I’m not going to stick my face in a bag because I already did my Peloton for the day and don’t have it in me to repent further, I’m still going to enjoy the thought of chocolate chips. They only have about 19% of the calories that way.

Photo: oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, which count as breakfast because oatmeal.