Actor Tom Hanks in the movie Forrest Gump tries to strike up a conversation with a tired nurse seated beside him on a park bench. Holding a box of chocolates in his hand, Forrest offers her a treat, “My mother always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” You remember the scene. Here is a 38-second clip from the movie:



“Health by chocolate” is one of the phrases that popped up on the web when I researched the health benefits of eating chocolate, which may stem from the antioxidant flavonoids find in the cacao bean. Another website listed 9 benefits of eating chocolate. Rich and delicious dark chocolate especially (at least 70 % cacao, a disease-killing bullet) is “good for more than healing a broken heart” it touts.

Among the nine benefits included in this article were a healthy heart, possible weight loss (because it lessens one’s cravings for other sweet, salty, and fatty foods), stress reduction, and even higher intelligence in the short term because chocolate boosts blood flow to the brain.

The box of chocolates Forrest Gump was holding contains way more calories than this article suggests because the candies were probably filled with nougat, sweet cherries, caramel, and other taste-bud ticklers. But he’s right, unless the box lid is imprinted with the different flavors, you never know what you are going to get. Usually, though, the surprise is pleasant.


In the 2000 movie Choclat, Vianne Rocher, played by Juliette Binoche, tries to guess Roux’s (Johnny Depp’s) favorite chocolate confection. Vianne tries more than once to offer the treat that will get an “Aha” from him, including presenting him with one in a special white box. Later she succeeds unexpectedly as you can see here:


Receiving or giving a box of chocolates (or even savoring hot chocolate) is a welcome experience any time of year.

What is your relationship with chocolate? What is your favorite kind of chocolate?

What do you think of the Forrest Gump quote?

Coming next: Signs and Wonders at Chincoteague!