You’re probably not a true chocolate addict unless you’ve actually snorted the stuff. If you didn’t know that was even possible, well it is, thanks to Belgian chocolatier Dominique Persoone. He’s created something called a chocolate shooter – a device that launches small lumps of cocoa powder directly into the nostrils.
While the health effects of inhaling chocolate are pretty much unknown, Persoone’s device is gaining popularity quite rapidly. He first created the snorter for a Rolling Stones party in 2007, inspired by a device that his grandfather used to inhale tobacco snuff. It consists of a tiny catapult with two small, spring-loaded spoons that fling cocoa powder into the nostrils.
“You load it like a gun, putting very little chocolate mix on the machine. Then, you push, and pffff! The chocolate blows in your nose,” the 46-year-old said. Persoone has sold over 25,000 kits since 2007. The kits are available online and at a store in Vancouver, at a price of $109 apiece. The shooter alone can be bought for $50, but you would be missing out on Persoone’s special chocolate mix.
“The mint and the ginger really tickle your nose,” said Persoone, 46. “Then the mint flavor goes down and the chocolate stays in your brain.” He revealed that it took him a while to perfect the snorting powder, because chocolate itself is too dry. He first tried a mix that contained chili pepper, which he described as a “very bad idea.”
“We get some people back who’d like to try it again,” said Mary Jean Dunsdon, the owner of the Canadian store. “Or people that like to try both flavors, but no, there’s no addict.”
But there’s no denying that chocolate is quite an addictive substance, so snorting could theoretically become an addiction. According to Dr. Ashley Gearhardt from the University of Michigan, chocolate is consistently ranked no. 1 among foods that people have trouble putting down. She suspects it might be because chocolate triggers a response from a certain part of the brain. “That same brain region is one of those regions that we know is really important in other drug addictions,” she said.
Although Persoone’s chocolate shooters sell with warnings against excessive sniffing, the Belgian chocolatier insists it is safe. “The mentality when you think about sniffing is: ‘Oh it’s kinky, guys who do that stuff…'” Persoone said. “I’m not the bad boy promoting drugs, not at all … Life is boring. Let’s have fun.”
As intriguing as the idea of snorting powdered chocolate sounds, I think I’ll stick to the old let-it-melt-in-my-mouth method. How about you? Maybe inhaling chocolate is more to your taste?
Photos: Dominique Persoone