Put it in your mouth and chew? NOT!
Anybody can simply taste chocolate, but do you know how to experience chocolate? I'm going to describe how to create an experience that you will remember long after the chocolate has vanished.
Before you enjoy chocolate, it has to be ready to be enjoyed. Never eat chocolate that is still frozen (unless you're in the wilderness and it's a matter of survival). Chocolate is one of those foods best enjoyed at room temperature. So, while waiting for your treat to assume the ideal degree, savor the anticipation.
Next, create the time for the experience. One good rule for healthy eating is to focus on the food: don't allow any distractions to take away from the full enjoyment. I can attest to the increased enjoyment - and better digestion - I've experienced by creating this focus. So, carve out some time for your chocolate experience. Plan to focus on the chocolate; you'll enjoy the experience more (and maybe find yourself satisfied with less).
When you and your dark chocolate are ready, unwrap the bar or truffle or gift. Stop. Don't touch. Just look. See the chocolate: note its color, the shadows and the shape. Smell the cocoa. What other flavor-scents are strong or subtle? Anticipate what those scents will taste like. Are you salivating yet? Wipe your lip and let's proceed.
Divide your dark selection into sections or squares or small bites. Avoid thinking about your waistline. This experience is all about the taste experience in your mouth and enjoying something that can be good for you in moderation.
Pick up a piece in two fingers. Let your body warmth begin to soften and melt the cocoa butter. Yes, this is a little bit “messy", but nothing will go to waste. Once again, delight in the color, the smell, the shape. . . and then bite off a very small piece with your front teeth. Do not chew. Let it melt. Our tongue is covered with taste buds. The front, the sides, the back - and each section of the tongue will give you different feedback. Let the chocolate melt and slide all over your tongue. Close your eyes. Focus on the sensation of melting in your mouth. Feel the texture change. Are there nuts or flavor chunks? Let that first small bite of chocolate melt entirely in your mouth. Don't forget to lick your fingers.
If you're left with little bits of nut or flavoring, nibble them into oblivion. Take your next bite. Experience it in like manner. Take it slow. Focus on the chocolate. When it's gone and reality resumes, remember the dark chocolate experience. Love dark chocolate - for life!
(c) Copyright 2008. All right reserved worldwide.
Valerie Simons is a wordsmith who loves dark chocolate - for life! Living in Korea and traveling in Asia gave her an expanded appreciation for our world and did nothing to quell the travel bug. Next stop: her Celtic ancestry and learning a new instrument. She Scuba'd the Great Barrier Reef, scaled Suicide Rock in southern California, and ran along The Great Wall of China. If money and time were no object, she'd get her pilot's license. For now, Valerie lives and works by the motto “Your point deserves to be well said" and enjoys editing as the Active Wordsmith.