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Snorting Chocolate is the Future of Culinary Decadence

A Belgian confectioner claims his nose candy will get you “high” on cocoa

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Why just put your chocolate in your mouth like some common Cadbury-egg-scarfing slob, when there are plenty of other orifices you could be cramming it into?

In a trend giving a whole new meaning to the expression “brown-noser,” pleasure-mongering foodies are now snorting chocolate like it’s cocaine. Back in 2007, Dominique Persoone, a Belgian chocolatier, invented a device to shoot chocolate into a user’s nostrils, basing its design on Victorian gadgets made for snuff tobacco. The idea was originally a gag at a party for the Rolling Stones, a culinary commentary on the band’s hard-partying history, but since then the practice has been picking up steam—Persoone claims to have sold more than 25,000 of his little chocolate launchers.

“You load it like a gun,” Persoone told Live Science, “putting very little chocolate mix on the machine…Then, you push, and pfffff! The chocolate blows in your nose.” While snorting lines of pricey Ecuadorian cocoa might sound like the kind of decadent frivolity you’d have found in, say, the harems of Montezuma, or the French aristocracy right before the revolution, doing crazy things with chocolate is just business as usual in Belgium. Remember, this is the country that brought us a 111-foot-long chocolate model train, chocolate-flavored postage stamps, and the ever-charming edible chocolate anus. And besides, according to Live Science, Persoone might be on to something here:

Usually, when people taste something on their tongue, they can detect only a few flavors, including sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami (savory). In contrast, the human nose can detect more than 1 trillion different scents. Sniffing chocolate is “another way of tasting it,” Persoone said.

Alas, experts warn that as fun as doing rails of cocoa might sound, snorting chocolate might not actually be very good for you. “Snorting chocolate powder is not safe, because the powder is perceived by the nose as a foreign toxic substance,” Dr. Jordan Josephson, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York said to Live Science.

The powder can damage the microscopic hairs, or cilia, and membranes of the nose, causing problems with their ability to work correctly, as well as possible scarring, Josephson told Live Science in an email. It is not safe to snort any powder, he added. “Putting any foreign bodies—including smoke, cocaine and/or chocolate powder—is not safe and is not advised," he said.

The chocolatier’s claims that using the shooter gets one “high on chocolate,” and induces an experience similar to “after an orgasm” are also suspect, according to Josephson. But Persoone dismisses these criticisms, saying haters just aren’t getting the good stuff. Per Live Science:

Persoone emphasized that the chocolate being snorted has to be pure cocoa. "You can't just start sniffing Nesquik," he said. However, some of his friends have used his machine to snort other types of food. For example, some snort dried basil before eating a tomato mozzarella salad.

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