Going Cocoa Crazy: Snorting Chocolate a New and Dangerous Trend

Looks like eating chocolate has gone out of fashion with the appearance of a new device which lets you snort chocolate and enjoy it without taking in all the unwanted calories. Snort, you say? Exactly, snort, like addicts do with cocaine. This is a new trend that has started just recently, enabling people to inhale chocolate powder with the help of a machine specifically designed for that purpose.

How it all started?

You must be wondering what kind of person would think of such a thing? It can’t be a foodie? But it actually is, a Belgian chocolatier is the one who stands behind all this. This person, Dominique Persoone, made a machine that catapults chocolate powder into your nose. This didn’t start as anything serious – it was actually meant to be a joke when Persoone and his colleagues organized a party for the Rolling Stones and instead of making edible chocolate, they made chocolate for sniffing. They did so because they wanted to try something completely different, but still involving food (as this is, after all, his area of expertise).  And since the nose can feel a myriad of various scents, more than the tongue can taste, they decided to look at sniffing chocolate as a different way of tasting it.

When the thought about sniffing chocolate came to his mind, Persoone started experimenting with pure chocolate and his grandfather’s sniffing device. He didn’t stick with this, as only chocolate was not strong enough to satisfy the ‘scent buds’. Then he tried mixing that chocolate with hot pepper, but it, obviously, didn’t end well. Finally, he and his colleagues found a winning mixture of dry mint, ginger and chocolate, and this satisfied them. However, now the grandpa’s device wasn’t good enough, so they build a new one, a machine specifically made for chocolate snorting.

Is it safe?

Ten years after the invention of this chocolate mixture and the machine for snorting it, more than 25,000 have bought it and are now enjoying chocolate without eating it. However, though it might be fun and interesting, nobody said snorting chocolate (or anything, for that matter) was healthy. In fact, it can be very damaging to the receptors inside the nose. As an ear, nose and throat and sinus specialist, Dr. Jordan Josephson states, the nose sees the powder (chocolate and any other) as a foreign toxic substance. The powder that enters the nose can cause damage to the hairs and membranes of the nose, scar them and prevent them from working properly. Thus, she recommends avoiding snorting any kind of powder or smoke, because it is definitely not safe.

The chocolatier who makes this product agrees that it is not safe for frequent use, or at least not too healthy, so on each product his company puts a warning sign not to use it too much or too often, and a recommendation not to give it to children.

What is so appealing about snorting chocolate?

Persoone claims that this powder has a similar effect as some drugs, as it, according to him, releases chemicals that make you feel like after you’ve had an orgasm. But for the effect to be right, it needs to be real cocoa powder, and not some chocolate mixture you can buy in a store, such as Nesquick.

Contrary to Persoone’s claims, Dr. Josepson states that snorting chocolate probably cannot provide such a pleasure that Persoone is describing, and that there are no scientific evidences for such claims. No matter the effect this powder has on the brain, there is no doubt that it tickles the senses in the nose and that it gives some kind of pleasure, at least regarding the smell. Some people enjoy scents much more than they do taste, so this may be the dream thing for them. However, snorting, if at all, should be done with caution, as it can have serious consequences for the membranes of the nose.