Nicola Adam column

Chocolate.
Chocolate.

I know I’m sweet enough already, but this week’s devastating news that the world is running 0ut of chocolate has left me panic buying large bags of sugary goodness from the confectionery aisle like Gemma Collins following her escape from ‘prison camp’ jungle conditionsin ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’.

To be fair, at least Gemma is a bit peckish after her brief stunt in Ant and Dec’s jungle. I, however, am simply panic stricken at the thought of a future without chocolate buttons or Minstrels. I’m not even that sweet-toothed (just greedy) but the emotional connections that we as a race have with chocolate, go far beyond the calorific taste sensations themselves.

Anybody brought up reading Roald Dahl and watching the Flake adverts as I did will understand what I mean. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a child’s fantasy come true. Roald Dahl later said his inspiration came from his years as a boarder at Repton School in Derbyshire where Cadburys used to hand out chocolate bars for the boys to product test.

My grandfather was at school with Roald at Repton - and had an equal taste for the brown stuff ,so I am using that excuse for my devastation at the thought of a world without Crunchies.

This is not a joke - experts in these things are genuinely predicting a serious cocoa shortage by 2020. This is not caused - as I initially thought - by the recent upturn in what I term ‘posh chocolate’, i.e with high levels of cocoa solids.

Instead, there are serious economic and geopolitical reasons including climate change, rising demand in Brazil and China. And what can’t be forgotten - the spectre of Ebola spreading to west African cocoa-growing nations such as Ivory Coast and Ghana.

So, if you are thinking of joining me down the corner shop, you have good reason. Suggestions this weekinclude chocolate rationing and a return to munching bars with less cocoa altogether, like in the war years.

Myself, I’m hoping these rumours are just a careless Wispa.