Tropical Chocolate–a Treat Best Avoided

The chocolate sometimes had an ashy pallor and other times an oily sheen of pastel pink and green reminiscent of gasoline on a wet road or that on wet packed ham. The effect came, I suppose, from the chemicals applied and the peculiar processing of the ingredients keeping chocolate hard at the tropical temperatures of South Vietnam—100 plus degrees Fahrenheit. The results were a less than palatable facsimile of a Hershey bar. The reconstituted chocolate milk—which one could occasionally cadge from the mess tent when left unguarded at night, was somewhat better. At least it was drinkable. The white milk wasn’t. It had a flavor that could have passed for a blend of milk of magnesia and PET milk. Even the chocolate milk could have its bad moments at times, such as for one of the guys in the hooch, who took a swig from the carton after a fellow card player had already made use of a nearly empty carton as an ashtray. Just one of the perils of hooking up with the goddess Mary Jane.

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