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The dark side of pleasure. It is fatal attraction

Its color is dark, black and shiny. It is hard, tenacious and resistant to the touch. There are not so much things that are able to stimulate all the five senses in a passionate symphony of pleasure. But it can

There are not so much things that are able to stimulate all the five senses in a passionate symphony of pleasure. But it has this mysterious virtue, I think. It can elicit strong and contrasting sensations, involving you in an exciting and unmistakable concert. I could recognize it among thousands, even blindfolded.

Its color is dark, black and shiny, like the African ebony in a night without the moon, with a precious, compact and fine texture. It is hard, tenacious and resistant to the touch but also mild and pliable when it is tempted by desire. Its aroma is dense and penetrating, recalling the mysteries of far countries and atavistic instincts. Its taste is a warm and persistent wave, a sweet caress that transforms in a bitter, coarse and mellow sensation. Finally, its soft shattering recalls the conductor’s baton, with a rhythmic sensual crescendo that brings toward the melodic orgasm.

If it was a symphony, it would be the Bolero by Ravel; a sensation to enjoy with the eyes closed in a driving and involving endless rhythm. Actually, I’m not speaking about an erotic music piece, or about a ritual dance, but I’m referring to the most sublime chocolate I tried. Bitter at the 99%, with a strong and pronounced character, it is a sexy provocateur and a diabolic tempter. An energy wave that provokes pleasure and perdition.

Well, it is not easy, for sure. It has a complex and refined structure, not suitable for everybody. It is this complexity that makes it the desire of the most sophisticate palates. Some experts suggest to approach it gradually, habituating the mouth to a bitterness of the 50%, then 65% and finally to 80%. Then, perhaps, it will be possible to fully appreciate the great taste of the 99% bitter chocolate.

For me it was a fatal attraction; a love at the first taste. I tasted it without any precaution, facing directly the darkest pleasure, and I was kidnapped by it. It is not just a surprising taste. The secret of it seductive power is in the balance among the melting sensation, the aroma, the consistency and the temperature.

When it enters the mouth and meets the palate it hardly resists to the tongue movements and progressively loses its consistency, becoming a tepid and velvety paste.

The slowness in tasting it leaves the time to the nose to smell the aromas of chocolate, amplified by the mouth temperature. This allows the unique orgasmic blend of sensations of the chocolate.

And I really don’t feel guilty about it. As a matter of fact, the bitter chocolate is very healthy and there is no reason to avoid this pleasure. Its healthy effects are now well-known and derive from its fascinating chemistry, together with the poetry of pleasure.

The attraction to chocolate comes from some particular elements of the cacao seeds, called polyphenols, which are also present in some vegetables and in the red wine, which are as healthy as chocolate but for many people less attractive that a black piece of chocolate.

The polyphenols and the flavonoids which are present in chocolate are extraordinary anti-oxidants, able to stop the action of free radicals, responsible for the aging of the body and of the brain. These free radicals are unlucky unavoidable, since they are the secondary product of the oxygen respiration. But just consider that 40 grams of bitter chocolate contains the same amount of polyphenols and flavonoids as a cup of tea but with a more intense and lasting pleasure.

I don’t know what it would happen putting a tea bag in a cup of chocolate. Probably it would be a horrible mix of different tastes but for sure it would be a bomb against the bad cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, many tumors, neural affections and even sadness and depression. Moreover, it has never been proved that bitter chocolate can induce addiction or fattening, since its fats are mainly saturated and the abundant stearic acid is converted in oleic acid, very healthy for the body. Some scientist even thinks that eating chocolate could help to live longer. I don’t know if this is true, but it for sure helps to live better!

Hence, for sure it is not possible to have everything from life. But, if we add to this fantastic 99% bitterness a 1% of pleasant company, to share the physical and emotive involvement with, this spicy dance of the senses could get to an explosive climax similar to the orgiastic trombones of Ravel.
Try it!

by Paola Cerana
06 september 2010, Food Notes > Miscellanea

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