“Fill the two spoons with powder,” the instructions read. “Smooth over. Adjust the opening between the spoons to the width of the nose. Tighten the shooter. Place the spoons under the nose. Sniff and shoot.”
It sounds like a step-by-step guide to snorting an illicit drug, but it is far from it. Snorting (or sniffing) chocolate is the brainchild of chocolatier Dominique Persoone of The Chocolate Line in Bruges, Belgium. The company’s website claims that because the nose is vital for tasting food, sniffing cocoa powder “will help enhance the pleasure of the chocolate experience.”
Members of the Rolling Stones were among the first to get satisfaction from Persoone’s invention at a birthday party for Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood five years ago.
“The chocolate sniff is a mix of ginger and mint and it was originally intended as a joke,” The Chocolate Line’s Pascal Pardo wrote in an email.
But after news of the Stones’ sniffing session emerged, Persoone was overwhelmed with questions and orders.
Now, over 25,000 “chocolate shooters” — a plastic device used to catapult the product up a person’s nostrils — have been sold worldwide.
Researchers have found that ingesting chocolate triggers the release of the pleasure hormone dopamine, though information wasn’t available on the effects of snorting it. When you snort it, you kind of experience chocolate for a couple hours very subtly — without the caloric intake. It hits all the same pleasure receptors in the brain as if you were eating it.
Photograph by Dominique Persoone.