Saturday, April 11, 2009

Selling chocolate - without the chocolate?

I've heard that some people will buy anything: but would you, dear reader, spend upwards of $2 on a chocolate smell - without the chocolate?

The Daily Mail reports:

It is the chocoholic's dream - a sweet treat that gives all the joy of chocolate without any of the calories.

Scientists have created an inhaler packed with tiny particles of chocolate.

A whiff or two gives all the pleasure of chocolate without any of the guilt, or so its designers from Harvard University claim.

Professor David Edwards, who created Le Whif after brainstorming with students, says it taps into the modern-day desire to eat little and often.

He said: 'Over the centuries we've been eating smaller and smaller quantities at shorter and shorter intervals.

'It seemed to us that eating was tending toward breathing, so, with a mix of culinary art and aerosol science, we've helped move eating habits to their logical conclusion. We call it whiffing.'

'Whiffing' could also be a boon for dieters, with the mere smell of chocolate being enough to curb the appetite.

Sceptics, however, claim nothing beats biting into a bar of chocolate and feeling it melt on the tongue.

They also point out that the smell of food usually heightens appetite, rather than dulling it.

The chocolate powder comes in four flavours - mint, raspberry, mango and plain - packed in sausage-shaped plastic bags which are slipped inside a small plastic aerosol dispenser.

Its manufacturer, Paris firm Le Laboratoire, says the particles are too big to enter the lungs or do any damage.

The company plans to expand past the chocolate product, eventually producing powders that will replicate the experience of the meals served at the best French restaurants.

Tom Hadfield, part of the Le Whif team, said: 'It fills your mouth with almost pure chocolate - it tastes really good.

'It's zero calorie, so could also be used as a diet tool.

'But chocolate is only the beginning - we're going to be unveiling more different types of food in the future.

'Two Michelin-starred chef Thierry Marx is even working with us to develop meals, such as a mint-flavoured inhaler to go alongside his lamb dishes.

'Eventually we could be having three course meals this way.'

However, the Le Whif experience doesn't come cheap, with each chocolate shot costing £1.50.

It goes on the market April 29 but can be pre-ordered now.

There's more at the link (more news, anyway, if not more chocolate!).

Personally, I can't see the point. I mean, why pay for scented air? If I want that, I want a full-size aerosol air freshener, with enough chocolate in it to make my whole house smell yummy!



LabRat said...

Probably the theory sounds fine to the reductionist chemist that has the rough knowledge that much of taste is actually experienced through smell, but nuh-uh. A large experience of the taste and smell of food is also in the medium itself- molecules of odor and flavor are carried different ways. If you trim *all* the fat off of meat, there's suddenly no difference between pork, chicken, lamb, or beef- the characteristic flavors are carried in the fats. Some compounds in tomatoes are only carried with alcohols, which is why wine or vodka adds so much to a tomato sauce.

Chocolate as an aerosol ALONE? For THAT much? HAH. No cocoa butter no sugars no play, pal.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, boo. On the other hand if some damn fool wants to pay for this, then it is a free country.


Wayne Conrad said...

My mother cannot eat chocolate, but sometimes buries her nose in an empty chocolate box just for the pleasure of the smell of it.

I think maybe this product was created just for her.